Born on july 4, 1960 saxophonist / flutist Heinrich von Kalnein is one of the most high-profile jazz artists of today’s Austrian and German scene. After graduating with honors from the University of Music Graz, Austria in 1987 he continued his studies with David Liebman and Oliver Lake among others. He developed a very distinct musical profile by taking his melodic concept and jazz roots into the realm of worldbeat, free improv and electronic music.
After initially working with the avant-garde trio ‘X-tra’ together with keyboarder Uli Rennert and Swedish trumpeter Lars Lindvall (LP ‘Electric Poems’ Extraplatte 1989 and ‘life traks’ Plainisphare 1992) as well as the Austrian group ‘The QuARTet’ (CD ‘Tell Me Your Story’ 1992 Extraplatte and ‘Tales of Tomorrow’ 1994) in the 1990ies he toured extensively all over Europe with his own HvK Group (among others feat. French guitarist Nguyên Lê) as well as with the Indo-Jazz Worldmusic Project ‚Free Winds’ (feat. Shakti’s Selvaganesh Vinayakram). With the latter group he also toured India and Sri Lanka.
With JBBG – JAZZ BIGBAND GRAZ, which he is (co-) leading since 2003, he performed a.o. with the vocal groups ‚Take Six’‚ ‚The New York Voices’ as well as with singers Jon Hendricks, Dianne Shur and Kurt Elling. With their CD ‚Joys & Desires’ (2005) featuring the work of drummer John Hollenbeck and vocalist Theo Bleckmann they got critical acclaim worldwide, which led to performances at the 2006 IAJE–conference in New York as well as the Northsea Jazzfestival. With their 2008 production ‘Electric Poetry & Lo-Fi Cookies’ blending the worlds of electronic music and jazz they developed a sound of their very own performing all over Europe. Their CD ‚Urban Folktales’ (2012 ACT Music & Vison) featured Austrian hurdy-gurdy virtuoso Matthias Loibner as well as German saxophonist Johannes Enders. In 2016 they released their current production ‘True Stories’, which was nominated for the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.
In 2008 he founded his new trio KAHIBA featuring Swiss drummer / electronic musician Gregor Hilbe and Austrian accordionist / pianist Christian Bakanic. With this very unique band he released three highly acclaimed CD’s (‘Global Dialects’ INTUITON MUSIC 2009, ‘Orbital Spaces’ (NATANGO MUSIC 2012) and ‘The Sixth Sense’ (NATANGO MUSIC 2014).
In 2014 he started working in a duo with US-based composer / pianist and GRAMMY-winner Michael Abene. In 2015 they released their debut CD ‘Dreamliner’ (NATANGO MUSIC).
Additionally he worked as a musical producer and bandmember with the Vienna Art Orchestra performing worldwide. Currently he is living in Graz and holds a position as a professor for saxophone at the Jazz institute of the University of Music Graz KUG.
Performances also with Iain Ballamy, Django Bates, Carla Bley, Bob Brookmeyer, Jay Clayton, Wayne Darling, Gil Evans, Heiner Goebbels, Jerry Granelli, Doug Hammond, the Peter Herbolzheimer Bigband, Peter Herborn, Marc Johnson, Sheila Jordan, Nguyên Lê, Rene Lussier, Charlie Mariano, Bob Mintzer, Phil Minton, Glen Moore, Wolfgang & Christian Muthspiel, Simon Nabatov, Ed Neumeister, Marc Ribot, Paquito d’Rivera, Steve Swallow, Dave Taylor and the Austrian National Public Radio symphony (ORF Radiosymphonieorchester) among others.
Festival appearances: Jazzfest Berlin (D), Jazzfest Bonn (D), Bolzano (I), Bremen jazzahead (D), Hofheim (D), Snow Jazz Gastein (A), Gdynia (PL), Guimaraes (P), Graz (A), Hamburg Elbjazz (D), Lisboa (P), Madrid (E), Magdeburg (D), Maribor (Slo), New Delhi (IND), New York (USA), Ploiesti (Ro), Saalfelden (A), Salzau Jazz Baltica (D), Salzburg Jazzherbst (A), Sibiu (Ro), Stavanger Maijazz (NO), St.Ingbert (D), St. Petersburg (RUS), Strasbourg (F), Usti Nad Labem (CZ), Trencin (SK), Tuxtla Gutierrez (MEX), Vienne (F), Warsaw (PL), Weilheim (D), Wien (A), Wiesbaden (D), Wiesen (A), Wroclaw (PL).