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Laurens Patzlaff


Laurens Patzlaff is both a Classical and Jazz pianist gifted with the unique ability to improvise in every style. Within the field of improvisation, he is a true phenomenon. The Classics and improvisation have rarely intermixed, and Laurens is devoted to promoting and popularizing this fascinating musical duo. Improvisation is the main focus of his artistic and academic career.

A German music professor who works frequently in the USA and Australia as well as in Germany and throughout Europe and Asia, he was appointed Germany’s first-ever Professor for Piano and Improvisation (Jazz and Classical) at the Lübeck Academy of Music in 2013.

Since 2007, he has taught improvisation at the Stuttgart State University for Music and Performing Arts as well as at universities in Freiburg and Trossingen. He regularly hosts master classes for piano and improvisation at universities in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, Hong Kong, Beijing and other cities around the world. In the USA, he has taught at Hunter College in New York City, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, and University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC, to name just a few.

Laurens dazzles audiences with his musicianship while opening their eyes and ears to the unlimited capacity for variation in even the most formal of musical genres, offering a fresh perspective on music with a range of styles few if any can imagine.

In addition to international solo engagements, he plays in jazz bands and is also an accomplished chamber musician. He has worked with the Stuttgart State Orchestra and the Das Südwestdeutsche Kammerorchester and numerous other orchestras. A busy program of concert appearances has taken this multi-award-winning pianist to numerous European destinations, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and, most recently, New Zealand, Peru, Brazil and Colombia. He regularly performs in China, the US and Australia. Many of his performances have been broadcast on the radio.

In November 2012, he released his much-acclaimed debut album Reflections on Debussy, in which he combines works by Debussy with his own improvisations. Deutschlandfunk described its “brilliant improvisations as the true highlights of this recording,” and raved, “Laurens Patzlaff is a master of improvisation.” The Freie Presse stated simply that Reflections on Debussy is “one of the most exciting contributions to the year 2012.”

His second album, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, was released in 2015 to high acclaim. declared it to be “a fascinating recording. Every improvisation has their own character which Patzlaff emerges artfully out of the moment.” Piano News stated, “Patzlaff himself becomes a sorcerer on that album who, in contrast to the apprentice, knows all the tricks and ruses.”

Born in 1981, Laurens Patzlaff began playing the piano at the age of eight, and even at an early stage he was inspired and fascinated by the limitless stylistic possibilities which the piano offered. Whilst building up his classical repertoire, he dedicated himself to the art of improvisation. The musician and composer Robert Schumann and the jazz pianist Oscar Peterson count amongst Laurens’ most important role models. For Laurens, they represent a holistic musical philosophy.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Earlier Event: August 11
Red's Blues
Later Event: August 16
The Gold Souls