Michael Griener (b. 68), self-taught by listening to and playing with many of his elders, spent his formative years as a teenager with bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall and began his freelance career in 1988, initially in intensive collaboration with  Günter Christmann in Hannover, and since moving to Berlin in 1994 has distinguished himself as one of the most versatile drummers on the current jazz scene, as evidenced by his work with Mal Waldron, Butch Morris, Tal Farlow, Evan Parker, Aki Takase, Tony Malaby and many others. Together with Jan Roder he forms the rhythm section of the band DIE ENTTÄUSCHUNG, ULI GUMPERT QUARTETT, MONK’S CASINO and various other formations.

Informed by a deep knowledge of the jazz tradition, he moves mainly in the border area between jazz and free improvisation, as for example in his trio with Ellery Eskelin and Christian Weber. In 2002, Baby Sommer brought him on as a lecturer at the Dresden Musikhochschule, where he continues to teach jazz drums. In March 2006, Griener received the “Most Creative Soloist” award at the New German Jazz Awards ceremony in Mannheim. His music has been documented on numerous CD releases, including Intakt, HatHut, FMP, Jazzwerkstatt, Moers Music and many more.

Played a.o. with

Tal Farlow, Herb Ellis, Mal Waldron, Evan Parker, Ellery Eskelin, Dave Liebman, John Zorn, Butch Morris, Billy Bang, Ken Vandermark, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, Barry Guy, Paul Lovens, Zeena Parkins, Keith Tippett, Sirone, Uli Gumpert, Aki Takase, Mats Gustafsson, Alexander v. Schlippenbach, Joelle Leandre, Günter Christmann, Conny Bauer, Johannes Bauer, Frank Gratkowski, Tony Malaby

„M.G. moved from Nürnberg to Berlin some years ago and is since then one of the most demanded drummers for all cases. Played with traditional heroes like Herb Ellis,  radical players like Barry Guy,  stars of the Berlin scene like Axel Dörner or sound explorers like Zeena Parkins. He proofed to be the perfect player for all opportunities,  as he understands to play the most special idea in his very own way finding the right balance between his own play and the given context. His self-taught style merging flow and fragility is unique as well as his coolness.”

Eric Mandel 
for the program of 
Jazz Fest Berlin