Heinrich von Kalnein

(c) Helmut Jokesch


For over 25 years, the German saxophonist and flutist, who lives in Austria, has been one of the most renowned musicians in Europe. As a leader as well as a sideman he is represented on over 40 CD’s, many of them under his own name.

Collaborations include. with Iain Ballamy, Django Bates, Theo Bleckmann, Carla Bley, Bob Brookmeyer, Jay Clayton, Kurt Elling, Gil Evans, Heiner Goebbels, John Hollenbeck, Jerry Granelli, Doug Hammond, John Hendricks, Marc Johnson, Sheila Jordan, Nguyên Lê, René Loussier, Charlie Mariano, Phil Minton, Bob Mintzer, Glen Moore, the New York Voices, Marc Ribot, Paquito d’Rivera, Arkady Shilkloper, Diane Schur, Dave Taylor, the VAO, and the vocal ensemble Take 6.

He was the curator of the renowned Viennese jazz club “Porgy&Bess” and has also been working as a producer and recording manager for several years. Since 2003 he leads together with trumpeter / vocalist Horst-Michael Schaffer the JBBG – JAZZ BIGBAND GRAZ (CD’s “A Life Affair” 2003, “Joys & Desires” 2006, “Electric Poetry & Lo-Fi Cookies” 2008, “Urban Folktales” 2012, “True Stories” 2016 and with the JBBG Smål – Gran Riserva “Times of Change Vol.1 (2020 and Vol.2 2021).
In 2008 he founded his trio KAHIBA together with Swiss drummer Gregor Hilbe and accordionist and pianist Christian Bakanic (since 2016 with Turkish pianist Anıl Bilgen). CD releases “Global Dialects” 2009 “Orbital Spaces” 2012, “The Sixth Sense” 2014 and “The Neuroscience of Music” 2018).

With German guitarist Axel Fischbacher, he formed the quartet Kalnein & Fischbacher Group in 2016 (CD “One Man Disco”). In 2019 he released the album “Passagem” together with Brazilian guitarist Emiliano Sampaio and his Meretrio.
Since 2021 he has been playing in the trio “Into the Now!” together with Austrian bassist Gina Schwarz and Spanish drummer and percussionist Ramón Lopez.

In 2012 he founded his own label Natango Music.



It’s fair to say that the Austrian jazz scene has experienced a real upswing in recent years. At least, one can come to this conclusion when observing the increased international interest in jazz from Austria; … read more »

Jazz in Austria – A Melting Pot of Musical Diversity

This article is part of the brochure “Jazz in Austria”. The full brochure is available as a free PDF download at the end of this page. It is the vast musical diversity that distinguishes today’s Austrian jazz … read more »

Austrian Jazz – A Scene in Transition

In recent years the changing landscape of Austrian jazz has been characterised by retirements and new arrivals. ‘Dynamic’ may well be the word that would best sum up the transformations and upheavals that have affected … read more »