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Born in 1971 in Viersen, Germany and raised in Rome, Italy, Till experienced his outset with the help of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker: “Hearing Bebop for the first time, Charlie Parker; that set the whole thing off for me. I was 13 years old and it was an almost erotic sensation. I thought it was indecent. The music was like a woman having a go at me.”
Till stems from a family of musicians; after a well-protected childhood, he enjoyed a classical education followed by a study of the jazz trumpet at Cologne’s Music Academy.
After only three semesters he convinced the leader of Berlin’s “RIAS-Big Band” at an audition, taking his first hurdle at the age of 20. â€¨Only two years later, he raised more than one eyebrow with “Generations of Jazz”, being both a classic mainstream recording with Ray Brown on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums and his debut as a bandleader. By the time he released “German Songs”, his third album of old German film songs, arranged for jazz quartet and classical orchestra, he was the talk of the trade. After recording a fusion album with Michael Brecker, Dennis Chambers, David Mann and Anthony Jackson he was signed by the legendary Verve label.
Throughout his carrer he has worked with musical greats such as Dave Brubeck, James Moody, Monty Alexander, Aki Takase, Alan Bergman, Joachim Kühn, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Johnny Griffin, Bob Brookmeyer, Ernie Watts, Nils Landgren, Al Foster, Lou Bega, Mousse T, Bootsy Collins, Pat Metheny, Yello, Hildegard Knef, Kyle Eastwood, Frank McComb, James Last, Al Di Meola, Carla Bruni, Mark Murphy, Nena, Madeleine Peyroux and many others.
In 2008 he was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category “Best Classical Crossover Album” for “The Jazz Album”, an album he produced with classical bass-baritone singer Thomas Quasthoff.
As a celebration of “50 years of bossa nova” he recored his album “Rio” in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro with producer Larry Klein and stellar guests such as Annie Lennox, Milton Nascimento, Aimee Mann, Sergio Mendes, Kurt Elling, Sergio Mendes, Luciana Souza, Vanessa da Mata and Melody Gardot.
In 2009 he was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category “Best Jazz Instrumental Solo” for his solo on “The Standard” by the legendary vocal ensemble Take 6.
For his album “Rio” he won the 2009 Echo Award in the jazz category (his third consecutive win in this category).
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