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Axel Zwingenberger
Axel Zwingenberger
Axel Zwingenberger during the funeral service of Blues legend Champion Jack Dupree, January 1992 in Hannover
Background information
Born (1955-05-07) May 7, 1955 (age 63)
Origin Hamburg, Germany
Genres Boogie-woogie,[1]jazz, blues
Musician, songwriter
Instruments Piano, celeste, harpsichord
Labels Vagabond Records, EMI, Eagle Records
Website Axel Zwingenberger's

Axel Zwingenberger (born May 7, 1955) is a blues and boogie-woogie pianist, and songwriter.[1] He is considered one of the finest boogie-woogie music masters in the world.[2][not in citation given]


Zwingenberger was born in Hamburg, Germany, and enjoyed eleven years of conventional piano training. In 1973 he listened to recordings of boogie-woogie pianists Albert Ammons, Meade "Lux" Lewis, and Pete Johnson. He soon joined piano playing partners Hans-Georg Moeller, Vince Weber and Martin Pyrker, and word about the four friends began to spread. In 1974, he played at the First International Blues-and-Boogie Woogie Festival of the West German Radio Station in Cologne which was followed by Hans Maitner's annual festival Stars of Boogie Woogie in Vienna.

By 1975, Zwingenberger received his first recording contract, issuing such solo recordings as Boogie Woogie Breakdown, Power House Boogie, and Boogie Woogie Live, as well as lending his talents to recordings by such artists as Lionel Hampton, Jay McShann, Big Joe Turner, Lloyd Glenn, Joe Newman, Sippie Wallace, Mama Yancey, Champion Jack Dupree, Sammy Price, Ray Bryant, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Vince Weber, and the Mojo Blues Band, among others. In addition to issuing other solo recordings, Zwingenberger continues to tour all over the world. He has also authored several publications about blues/boogie-woogie music and musicians as well as Boogie Woogie: Piano Solo, a book of 12 of his compositions, exactly transcribed.[3]

Being a railfan since early childhood, he is also known for his photographs of steam locomotives,[4] including some taken from within the machinery itself. Zwingenberger established a non-profit foundation within the German Foundation for the Protection of Historical Monuments which donates for the preservation of monuments on rails, including the world's fastest operational steam locomotive, the German DR 18 201.

In spring 2009, coordinated by young pianist Ben Waters from the UK, Zwingenberger renewed his relationship with Charlie Watts, drummer of The Rolling Stones. Together with bassist Dave Green, they played joint concerts billed as The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie. In June 2012 they released their first joint album The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie - live in Paris and presented it in New York by playing concerts at Lincoln Center and The Iridium Jazz Club.

Selective discography

Year Title Solo albums Label
1996 Boogie Back To New York City solo - live Vagabond
1992 Boogie Woogie Classics solo Polygram Int'l
1985 Boogie Woogie live solo - all original compositions by A.Z.[5] Vagabond (also issued on Calligraph)
1980 Power House Boogie solo Vagabond
1978 Boogie Woogie Breakdown solo Telefunken
Year Title Combinations Label
2012 The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie - Live in Paris Axel Zwingenberger, Ben Waters, Charlie Watts & Dave Green Eagle Records
2012 The Joy of Boogie Woogie w/ Keito Saito, p Quatre Mains Records, Japan
2010 The Magic of Boogie Woogie w/ Charlie Watts, dr & Dave Green, b Vagabond
2009 Lady sings the Boogie Woogie w/ Lila Ammons, voc Vagabond
2008 Saxy Boogie Woogie w/ Big Jay McNeely, sax & The Bad Boys Vagabond
2004 Groovology w/ Gottfried Boettger, p Vagabond
1999 Brothers in Boogie w/ Torsten Zwingenberger, dr Vagabond
1999 The Boogiemeisters w/ Vince Weber, p voc Vagabond
1996 Swing the Boogie! w/ Jay McShann, p voc Vagabond
1982 The Boogie Woogie Album w/ Lionel Hampton Orchestra Vagabond
1978 Let's Boogie Woogie All Night Long w/ Big Joe Turner, voc - German Record Award 1979 Vagabond
1976 2015 Boogie Woogie Session '76 live in Vienna - The Complete Recordings w/ Hans-Georg Mller, Martin Pyrker, Torsten Zwingenberger & Vince Weber EMI / Vagabond (re-release of 2 CDs DVD)
Year Title Axel Zwingenberger & The Friends Of Boogie Woogie - Series Label
2000 Vol. 10: Kansas City Boogie Jam w/ Big Joe Duskin, voc, Sammy Price, p, Jay McShann, p Vagabond
1999 Vol. 9: Red Hot Boogie Woogie Party w/ Red Holloway, sax & voc, Mojo Blues Band - live Vagabond
1993 Vol. 8: Heat It Up w/ Red Holloway, sax & voc, Mojo Blues Band Vagabond
1992 Vol. 7: Champion Jack Dupree sings Blues Classics w/ Champion Jack Dupree, voc, Mogens "Basse" Seidelin, b, Michael Strasser, dr Vagabond
1990 Vol. 6: On Stage with Champion Jack Dupree w/ Champion Jack Dupree, voc & Torsten Zwingenberger, dr Vagabond
1988 Vol. 5: Champ's Housewarming w/ Champion Jack Dupree, voc, Mojo Blues Band Vagabond
1987 Vol. 4: The Blues Of Mama Yancey w/ Estella "Mama" Yancey, voc Vagabond
1986 Vol. 3: An Evening with Sippie Wallace w/ Sippie Wallace, voc - live Vagabond
1985 Vol. 2: Between Hamburg & Hollywood w/ Big Joe Turner, voc, Joe Newman, tp & voc, Lloyd Glenn, p, Torsten Zwingenberger, dr Vagabond
1984 Vol. 1: Sippie Wallace w/ Sippie Wallace, voc Vagabond

Zwingenberger also appeared on Just For A Thrill by Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings



  1. ^ a b Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5. 
  2. ^ All About Jazz: Axel Zwingenberger bio
  3. ^ Axel Zwingenberger: Boogie Woogie: Piano Solo (1997) - ISBN 3-926398-01-9
  4. ^ Axel Zwingenberger, Vom Zauber der Zge - The Magic of Trains photo book - ISBN 3-926398-02-7
  5. ^ Axel Zwingenberger: Boogie Woogie Piano Solo: transcription of the CD VRCD 8.85007 - ISBN 3-926398-01-9

External links

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