NEIL YOUNG COLLAGE
“Jens Thomas is not only a gifted pianist and singer: he literally dives into the music and takes his listeners on an exploratory tour in which listening plays a central role and there are no limits to improvisation.” – Claus Röck, NDR Kultur
"Whereby Thomas doesn't even begin to stick to Young's melodies, he jazzes them up, swirls them, disassembles them and puts them back together again. It's an event." - Bert Strebe, HAZ
Label & Booking: o-tone music
The jazz pianist and voice performer Jens Thomas, to whom the Süddeutsche Zeitung devoted an entire page three in 2019, sings and plays Neil Young. Unconventional, surprising and highly emotional. His Neil Young collage is a sound journey beyond styles and categories that provokes images and memories in the listener’s mind. After studying jazz as a pianist, the SWR Jazz Prize winner released four albums on the ACT label from 2000 to 2003 (including “Plays Ennio Morricone” with Paolo Fresu and Antonello Salis, “Pure Joy” and “The Sting Project” with Christof Lauer). From 2003-2012 he improvised live the stage music in the legendary “Othello” production by Luk Perceval at the Münchner Kammerspiele (ZDF live recording) and discovered his own voice, which he continued to develop autodidactically in the following years. He freed himself completely from the conventions and routines of contemporary jazz and questioned all elements of his concert performance. For Thomas, improvisation now also meant integrating body and space, language and audience into his performances.
Various theatre and dance theatre productions (including NT Gent, Thalia Theater Hamburg, Folkwang Tanzstudio Essen, Burgtheater Wien), his own art performances in galleries and a two-year “artist in residence” at the Schauspielhaus Bochum, led him to extraordinary album productions such as “Goethe! Gesang der Geister” (2007, ITM) and “Speed of Grace-A Tribute To AC/DC” (2012, ACT) as well as the ARD “Tatort” drama “Ich hab im Traum geweinet” (“carried by the outstanding music of Jens Thomas” SZ) to the encounter with the actor Matthias Brandt. With him and the “word-music collages” they create together, Thomas has been performing on the major German-language theatre stages since 2013. For Brandt, the musician is “the most important artistic encounter I’ve ever had.” In 2016 the album “Memory Boy” (Roofmusic) with exclusively original songs was released, which was written in parallel to the book “Raumpatrouille” by Matthias Brandt, in 2020 the chanson album “jENS tHOMAS” (misitunes) with his own German and English lyrics was released.