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Markus Burger

Markus Burger

Long before the word multi-hyphenate made its way into the popular lexicon; it was already in use by those around Markus when attempting to describe him, “or something like that anyway," he jokes.
For much of his career, he has excelled at the art of juggling many roles, from musician to running a recording studio, or from signing new talent as A&R manager at a jazz label to being an educator and now, music entrepreLong before the word multi-hyphenate made its way into the popular lexicon; it was already in use by those around Markus when attempting to describe him, “or something like that anyway," he jokes.
For much of his career, he has excelled at the art of juggling many roles, from musician to running a recording studio, or from signing new talent as A&R manager at a jazz label to being an educator and now, music entrepreneur. These roles make up just some of the many facets of his seemingly complex, high-energy persona.
It’s 8:30am and between sipping a cappuccino, his third this morning, reviewing a press release, speaking with his agent in Europe and closing a deal on studio equipment, he nervously hangs up one of the two phones in his hands and jubilantly announces that Reykjavik and Lisbon are now part of the itinerary in this year’s tour schedule.
Then, he suddenly takes a conversational detour, opens one of the two laptops on the table, and proudly displays an album of stunning photographs he has taken while on a recent trip with his family. Another talent.
Amid a string of subsequent detours and interruptions, and perhaps in a nod to his jazz background, he suddenly picks up our conversation just where he left off. Somewhere between another phone call and his daughter’s request for a refill on her milk, without so much as skipping a beat, he swings right back into the conversation.
Burger goes on to enthusiastically announce that his first jazz LP in a decade, 'Accidental Tourists: The L.A. Sessions,' has just been reviewed – and received four stars – from Downbeat Magazine and also by other well-known industry big names.
As the conversation meanders through a maze of topics with spellbinding speed, it becomes abundantly clear that a game of 20 questions might just be my ticket to finishing this interview.
What fuels your energy?
MB-I love what I do. Full stop. It’s not a job for me. It’s living out my passion. Everyday.
What inspired you to go into music?
MB-Many people in my family played an instrument, so it was an obvious choice for me. But at 16, I made the decision to do it professionally because around that time, I discovered Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett and E.S.T.
Who were your greatest musical influences growing up?
MB-Jarrett and Metheny definitely. But also the Beatles, Police, Brian Eno, E.S.T., Miles and Stevie Wonder.
Was there an album growing up that you found yourself listening to a lot?
MB-My Song by Keith Jarrett
Why Jazz?
MB-I would say it’s the artistic freedom. But then it also requires a certain amount of structural and formal discipline, all at the same time.
Among your albums, is there a favorite? Why?
MB-Without a doubt, Accidental Tourists. When I was growing up and practicing the piano everyday, if someone were to play me that album and say “that’s you in 40 years”, it would have totally motivated me. It would have made sense, which is kind of hard to see when you are six or seven. Recording that album, it was one of the few times where I felt like everyone was on the same page artistically. We all came together.
What talent would you most like to have?
MB-Discipline
If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
MB-Relentless
What is your biggest dislike?
MB-People who are not authentic
Most treasured possession?
MB-A fly rod I inherited from my dear friend and fellow fisherman, who sadly has left this earth.
The state of the music industry today?
MB-It has forced everyone in the industry to rethink about the value of live performances. It’s what’s keeping the industry alive.
What’s next for you artistically? Anything you haven’t done yet?
MB-Integrating electronic sounds into my live performances.
As our chat nears a close, the phone rings once again, my queue that our time is up and that Markus is late for a meeting. He takes one last sip of his cappuccino before rushing off but motions me, in an charming, old world sort of way, that I should take my time and finish mine.
Seven years after his first solo album 'Ultreya,' and a decade into touring and selling albums with his other project, Spiritual Standards, Burger’s new 'The L.A. Sessions,' the first of a series with his new band, Accidental Tourists, featuring renowned jazz drummer Joe La Barbera (Bill Evans) and bassist Bob Magnusson (Bill Evans, Art Pepper), is out now on Challenge Records International.
neur. These roles make up just some of the many facets of his seemingly complex, high-energy persona.
It’s 8:30am and between sipping a cappuccino, his third this morning, reviewing a press release, speaking with his agent in Europe and closing a deal on studio equipment, he nervously hangs up one of the two phones in his hands and jubilantly announces that Reykjavik and Lisbon are now part of the itinerary in this year’s tour schedule.
Then, he suddenly takes a conversational detour, opens one of the two laptops on the table, and proudly displays an album of stunning photographs he has taken while on a recent trip with his family. Another talent.
Amid a string of subsequent detours and interruptions, and perhaps in a nod to his jazz background, he suddenly picks up our conversation just where he left off. Somewhere between another phone call and his daughter’s request for a refill on her milk, without so much as skipping a beat, he swings right back into the conversation.
Burger goes on to enthusiastically announce that his first jazz LP in a decade, 'Accidental Tourists: The L.A. Sessions,' has just been reviewed – and received four stars – from Downbeat Magazine and also by other well-known industry big names.
As the conversation meanders through a maze of topics with spellbinding speed, it becomes abundantly clear that a game of 20 questions might just be my ticket to finishing this interview.
What fuels your energy?
MB-I love what I do. Full stop. It’s not a job for me. It’s living out my passion. Everyday.
What inspired you to go into music?
MB-Many people in my family played an instrument, so it was an obvious choice for me. But at 16, I made the decision to do it professionally because around that time, I discovered Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett and E.S.T.
Who were your greatest musical influences growing up?
MB-Jarrett and Metheny definitely. But also the Beatles, Police, Brian Eno, E.S.T., Miles and Stevie Wonder.
Was there an album growing up that you found yourself listening to a lot?
MB-My Song by Keith Jarrett
Why Jazz?
MB-I would say it’s the artistic freedom. But then it also requires a certain amount of structural and formal discipline, all at the same time.
Among your albums, is there a favorite? Why?
MB-Without a doubt, Accidental Tourists. When I was growing up and practicing the piano everyday, if someone were to play me that album and say “that’s you in 40 years”, it would have totally motivated me. It would have made sense, which is kind of hard to see when you are six or seven. Recording that album, it was one of the few times where I felt like everyone was on the same page artistically. We all came together.
What talent would you most like to have?
MB-Discipline
If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
MB-Relentless
What is your biggest dislike?
MB-People who are not authentic
Most treasured possession?
MB-A fly rod I inherited from my dear friend and fellow fisherman, who sadly has left this earth.
The state of the music industry today?
MB-It has forced everyone in the industry to rethink about the value of live performances. It’s what’s keeping the industry alive.
What’s next for you artistically? Anything you haven’t done yet?
MB-Integrating electronic sounds into my live performances.
As our chat nears a close, the phone rings once again, my queue that our time is up and that Markus is late for a meeting. He takes one last sip of his cappuccino before rushing off but motions me, in an charming, old world sort of way, that I should take my time and finish mine.
Seven years after his first solo album 'Ultreya,' and a decade into touring and selling albums with his other project, Spiritual Standards, Burger’s new 'The L.A. Sessions,' the first of a series with his new band, Accidental Tourists, featuring renowned jazz drummer Joe La Barbera (Bill Evans) and bassist Bob Magnusson (Bill Evans, Art Pepper), is out now on Challenge Records International.

Tourdates

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The Alaska Sessions - Accidental Tourists

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Spiritual Standards - Songs Inspired by Martin Luther
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The Banff Sessions - A Tribute to Kenny Wheeler

The Banff Sessions - A Tribute to Kenny Wheeler

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The L.A. Sessions - Accidental Tourists

The L.A. Sessions - Accidental Tourists

Markus Burger, Joe LaBarbera, Bob Magnusson

€ 11.95
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