Nikolaj Hess

“Simply put, these guys are the best piano trio in Denmark, and Nikolaj Hess is one of the most inventive jazz pianists working today” (Mitch Myers Magnet Magazine 2019)

“A delightful, reflective, almost pastoral use of light and shade. If Chopin had been born in New York and received tuition from say Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett he may have sounded like this” writes ‘Bebop spoken here’ (UK) beautifully about Nikolaj Hess.

“Gold dust. Nikolaj Hess’ fingers on the keyboard is an alchemical affair. An album with a wide range of expression, yet spiritually coherent.” (Chr Munch-Hansen Politiken)

“the mastery of Mommaas and Hess completely overwhelms any feeling of normal. This is art of the highest standard, and a record which will most definitely be a “best of” 2016.” (allaboutjazz 2016)

“Hess’ fluidity, harmonic command and palpable determination at the keys, a compelling spectacle~David R. Adler, AAJ (2010) (LIve @ the Kitano)

“Danish pianist Nikolaj Hess careened between heart-melting delicacy and almost Chopinesque virtuosity. Hess is clearly equipped to face the most gargantuan technical demands, but it was the incredible fecundity of his imagination that impressed the most”(Peter Quinn Art Desk, London)

”No matter whether he is working to unite different musical worlds, or getting down on the anatomy of the groove, Hess’ sound world is one that gathers many different aspects of tradition and culture. Global Motion + and The Champ provide two pieces of the puzzle that makes up his many-faceted vision” Jakob Baekgaard Allaboutjazz

Latest works:

Soundtrack and live music in the feature film “De Forbandede År” by Anders Refn premiere Jan 2020

Concert Piece for violin, string orchestra, bass and drums premiere Nov 2019

Albums: Spacelab “Bugs – Live In London”, Nikolaj Hess Micro Chapters (Gateway) solopiano/effects and a section with Praghs symphonys string section (all music by NH), Mikroskop duo with Sissel Vera Pettersen, Hess/Brown/Huntley “The Art Of The Hang” 2018, Nikolaj Hess “Rhapsody”, Impressions Of Hammershøi, (Japanese release on Yoko Yoneyamas Cloud Feb 2016), written by NH for his concert series ”Impressions Of Hammershøi” at SMKs Hammershøi udstilling i New York, Hess/Mommaas Ballads and Standards (Sunnyside Records 2016), 3xHess Music for Mum and Dad (winner DMA 2014 best jazz album), Hess/AC/Hess Spacelab (nominated best jazz album DMA 2014), Nikolaj Hess “Trio” (chosen as best jazz album by Politiken 2013, nominated best jazz album DMA 2013), Global Motion+ (nominated best jazz album DMA 2011), Sissel Vera Pettersen/Nikolaj Hess “A Word” (nominated best jazz album DMA 2011) Nikolaj Hess Spacelab The Champ, Hessismore “Demoncrazy” (2011), Hessismore My Head Is A Ballroom” (2014), Caroline Henderson “Lonely House (co-producer, pianist), Caroline Henderson “Jazz Collection” (pianist, co-producer, arrangør). Furthermore NHs jazz piano can be heard on a long line of international jazz releases.
Nikolaj Hess has written music for film, a.o. “Meeres Stille” Juliane Fezer (nominated “Best Music In Film at International Filmmakers Festival, London), “Melancholia” Lars Von Trier, and made music for cross-genre project with a.o. Mie Olise, Rose Eken, Krueger & Pardeller (Austria), Peter Kyle (USA), Tim Rushton (UK/DK)

NH has composed and arranged for various projects and settings, solo piano, duo, trio, quartet to tentet, cross-over ensembles, classical ensembles, symphony orchestra, choir, etc.

NH’s music can also be found around the world in installations, at other peoples performances, short-films and websites.

NH has toured extensively in DK, Norge, Sverige, Island, Færøerne, Finland, Grønland, Holland, England, Tyskland, Italien, Frankrig, Ungarn, Bulgarien, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sydafrika, Tyrkiet, USA, Kina, Japan.

NH has worked and/or recorded with Lee Konitz, Benny Golson, Marc Mommaas, Jay Anderson, Ambrose Akinmusire, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wollesen, Chris Cheek, Ben Monder, Greg Hutchinson, Thomas Morgan, Jeff Ballard, Tim Rushton, Donny McCaslin, Jochen Rueckert, Clarence Penn, Chr McBride, Hal Wilner, Robert Wilson, Folkloric Selamta, Caroline Henderson (music director/producer), Etta Cameron, Palle Mikkelborg, Marilyn Mazur, Fela Kuti, Dele Sosimi, Dennis Charles, Hessismore, and many many others

Finished his studies magnum com laude at RMC 1991, followed by private studies in West-Africa (West-African drumming and folclore music in general), (6 months 92/93) and USA (93, 97/98, 01, 05) focusing on composition and piano.

DMA winner 2015 best jazz release, Politiken best jazz release of 2013, DMA nominated best jazz release 2013, 2015, best vocal jazz release 2012. Winner in the category best European Jazz Pianist under 25 at the RAI competition in Rom 1991, gold winner of Berlingske Tidendes young talent competition 1989. Nominated for best music in Film at The International Filmmaker Festival i London (23-28 feb 2015) for his music for German movie Meeres Stille

NH is the artistic director of Jazz Denmarks prominent Summer Session since 2013, and has taught composition, piano, ear-training, theory, ensemble playing, arranging and artistic development at RMC, DJM, DKDM, New School University USA, William Paterson University USA, Conservatoire Superieure National De Paris, New York Jazz Workshop, Bogazi University Istanbul, etc. He currently holds a part time associate professorship at RMC.