Eric Schaefer is not your common-or-garden drummer. He's not one just to sit in the background and keep the groove or brush around on the snare, that's not enough for him. His instrument is a formative element, Schaefer is an inventor, active and creative, and this is what makes him one of “the clandestine stars of the [...] German jazz scene“ as Die Zeit writes. Born in Frankfurt in 1976 and educated in Cologne and Berlin, Schaefer is best known as part of Michael Wollny’s Trio [em]; the magic triangle of three harmonising individuals. With their latest CD “Wasted & Wanted“, “Germany's most creative jazz trio“ (Kulturspiegel) triggered off storms of enthusiasm in the media and the public. In 2011 they won the ECHO, Germany's most important music award, as the Best National Jazz Ensemble. A year further on, Schaefer also received the ECHO Jazz for his achievements, as Best National Drummer. Schaefer is not only part of this trio, The Arne Jansen Trio and Rockjazz with Johnny La Marama are two other focuses of his work.
His range of musical forms of expression has many layers, from Hardcore Punk to Miles Davis – none of it is a contradiction in terms for him. “With improvisation as the backbone of their work, musicians like [...] Eric Schaefer [...] take it in any number of different directions with uncompromising vitality – free improvisations and classical composition, punk and varied folklore, new or minimal music, pop and electronic,“ writes Neue Zürcher Zeitung about this multifaceted and contemplative artist. Whatever constellation he plays in, Schaefer leaves his personal mark on these bands with his compositions and versatile, extremely colourful, and distinctly individual style. He already has around 40 records out as a band leader, composer and sideman. If there was a Nobel Prize for drumming, Eric Schaefer would be a hot candidate for it, says The Rolling Stone.