Biography

Chris Conz - dedicated to the Boogie-Woogie

Chris Conz, a household name in today's international Boogie-Woogie world, was born on October 22nd 1985 in Uster/Switzerland, located in the canton of Zurich. Even as a child his love of playing the piano was evident. At the age of eleven Hamp Ruosch, his teacher and mentor, introduced him to the jazz music genre Boogie-Woogie.

"The unique rhythm that Boogie-Woogie is all about has always been an inspiration to me, even as a child. I was fascinated by the idea that one day I could be the one producing this sound. As time went by I realized that after years of relentless practice I was able to not only produce the sounds and melodies, but also enhance and transform them with my own ideas. I was completely captivated by the magic of Boogie-Woogie, Blues and Swing."

At the age of fourteen Conz had his first public performance, winning a number of talent shows shortly after and already playing in Blues Jam Sessions. When he was sixteen he met Silvan Zingg, founder of the International Boogie-Woogie Festival in Lugano, Switzerland, at a concert. Zingg gave him the opportunity to perform as a surprise guest at his festival. That was the start of a great career.

"I remember my very first performance in Lugano like it was yesterday. I was nervous and happy at the same time. Getting on stage was something I could hardly wait for, but strangely I also wanted to run away somehow. My hands were cold, which made it even harder to play. Once it was my turn I was convinced that I would not be able to get a single sequence out without a mistake. But when I sat down at the piano and managed to play the first notes I could feel the audience connecting with the music and the way I feel and express Boogie-Woogie. My nervousness had completely vanished. I never wanted this musical moment to end. And that has never changed to this day - every moment is unique and a special experience for me."

With his unmatched passion for this unique genre Chris still represents authentic Boogie-Woogie and Blues from the 20s to the 50s today. He has shared a stage with many international Boogie-Woogie stars such as Axel Zwingenberger, Vince Weber, Frank Muschalle, Bob Seeley and many others. He has performed at concert halls all of the world - in the USA, in almost every European country and even all the way to the United Arab Emirates, Madagascar and of course at home in Switzerland. 

Reaching new musical heights with Boogie-Woogie collaborations

"There are so many different ways and possibilities to interpret Boogie-Woogie, Blues, Swing and Jazz. It's all about providing a different color to the individual sounds and putting them back together as a new musical masterpiece. This process gets even more exciting once you add in vocals and other instruments. Therefore it was just a matter of time until I decided to collaborate with other artists on stage."

In addition to his solo performances Chris Conz founded the Chris Conz Duo together with drummer Mario Von Holten. Chris was only sixteen at the time. Later joined by the bass player Arno Schulz they became the Chris Conz Trio. As part of "The Royal Rhythms" collaboration singer Moritz Schlanke supports the trio with his vocals. As needed there can be up to 5 musicians on stage.
"Making music together, experiencing the genre in new ways through different instruments and vocals, that's what makes it so special to produce the sound of Boogie-Woogie with a band. Collaborations with other musicians provide a pianist with opportunities to grow even in his role as a solo artist. And of course whenever several musicians find themselves on a stage together there is always a chance of an impromptu and unrehearsed live session. That is a special treat for the audience and the artists alike. This type of experience cannot be duplicated in a studio."
In order to further expand his musical horizon, Conz took the opportunity to join the band Terry & the Hot Sox once Boogie-Piano legend Dave Ruosch left the group in 2004. Together they also accompanied the American singer Wanda Jackson, who became world famous in the 60s with her hit "Let's Have A Party" or Bill Haley's Band in original line-up.


The tremendous talent, the never-ending passion for music and the love for his audience lead to countless awards. Besides the "Swiss Jazz Award 2013" Chris Conz and his trio also won the little Prix Walo, also know as the "Swiss Oscar" of the music industry, as the best Swiss newcomer band. As a solo artist Chris received the German Boogie-Woogie Award PINETOP as pianist of the year.

"Even today it is still extremely important to me to be able to play Boogie-Woogie, Blues, Swing and Jazz in my very own way. I frequently reinvent myself and aim to reach the audience at the heart of their rhythm. If I can make people feel the music, accomplish that it resonates with them and make sure that they become a part of it, then I have reached my goal. The awards are milestones on my musical journey."

International Boogie Nights by Chris Conz

Since 2011 Chris Conz has organized the "International Boogie Nights by Chris Conz" in Uster and Thun. He serves as a source of ideas and inspiration to the music event, which typically features a star-studded lineup of Boogie-Woogie legends and attracts about 2000 visitors yearly. The project is expanding and in 2020 the International Boogie Nights are also coming to Chur and Vienna. We also have to thank Chris Conz for other festivals such as the "Swing the Spring" event, which was also founded by the pianist and entrepreneur.

"As a pianist and musician I have been lucky enough to perform on the big stages and at the festivals of the world. This has taught me what to do and what not to do. It was always a dream of mine to organize my own festival exactly the way I envisioned it. My legacy to all, including the younger generation, is to help them connect with the magic of Boogie-Woogie and provide the especially gifted of this genre with an international stage for their performances."

Even his Social Media channels "International Boogie Nights by Chris Conz" are considered one of the largest genre platforms worldwide and they are full of spectacular Boogie-Woogie, Swing, Blues & Jazz Piano. Videos, special Boogie finds, sessions, info and news about world-famous Boogie-Woogie pianists, entertainers and musicians can be found here. "International Boogie Nights by Chris Conz" is looking to support young talents and give them the chance to get on stage. Chris Conz himself is mentoring particularly gifted piano players and gives them lessons at no charge.

"Boogie-Woogie is magical. Powerful, careful, sensitive, loud, surprising, dreamy and visionary. Boogie-Woogie takes us to a different world full of music, full of surprising sound patterns, exciting rhythm and tone sequences. Boogie-Woogie is improvised music with lots of room for freedom. The perfection of the left hand is most important and then the right hand brings countless variations, which gives Boogie a different sound each time. The sound is contagious and the Boogie-mood eventually takes hold of even the most reserved audiences. Boogie-Woogie is mainly one thing: unique." 

     - Chris Conz, 2019

Musical career / Highlights

 

2019:

  • Jazzfestival Spiekeroog, Nordsee - Deutschland u.a. mit Frank Muschalle und Christian Rannenberg

2018:

  • 22. Boogie Woogie Congress in der Philharmonie in Essen zusammen mit Jörg Hegemann und Joachim Schumacher

  • Ascona Jazz Night

  • New Orleans meets Zofingen

  • Festival da Jazz, St. Moritz

  • Jazz uf em Platz, Muttenz

  • Jazz Fest - Tiengen am Hochrhein

  • 4. Boogie & Blues Piano Kreuzfahrt u.a. mit Frank Muschalle und Christina Jaccard

  • Organisation einer weiteren Boogie Nights: 1st International Boogie Night Thun

2017:

  • Neue Auszeichnung: German Boogie-Woogie Award PINETOP - Pianist des Jahres

  • Zahlreiche Konzerte zusammen mit Ray Fein

  • Konzert an zwei Flügel mit Dave Ruosch, Zürich

  • CD-Produktion und Gründung der Band „The Royal Rhythms"

  • Zahlreiche Konzerte in div. Jazzclubs in der Schweiz

  • Div. Firmenanlässe in Deutschland

  • Jazztage Lenk

  • Boogie-Woogie Festival in Südfrankreich

  • Jazzfestival Kecskemét, Ungarn

 

2016

  • Gründung der Partnerveranstaltung Swing The Spring in Wallisellen.

  • Tour in Bayern, Deutschland

  • Private und öffentliche Konzerte in den USA.

  • Deutschland Tour mit Chase Garrett (USA). Unter anderem mit Frank Muschalle (D) auf Spiekeroog.

  • Zahlreiche Auftritte mit Ray Fein & Friends.

  • UK Boogie Woogie Festival, England

  • Chase Garrett's 7th Annual Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Stomp und diverse Konzerte in St. Louis, USA

2015

  • Australien-Tour mit dem Chris Conz Trio, u.a. Auftritte im Jazzclub The Ellington Jazz Club Perth sowie im Perth Blues Club.

  • Diverse Konzerte in Madagaskar. Unter anderem am internationalen Jazzfestival "Madajazzcar".

  • Zahlreiche Konzerte an div. Jazzfestivals und Jazzclub in ganz Europa, als Solo-Pianist wie auch mit dem Trio.

2014

  • 13. Schl8hof-Bluesfestival, Wels (A), u.a. mit Martin Pyrker

  • 26. Internationales Jazz & Blues Festival Zürich, u.a. mit Ray Fein

  • Das Chris Conz Trio spielte am Jazzfestival JazzAscona

  • Meister des Boogie Woogie in Holzwickede (D) zusammen mit Jörg Hegemann

  • Blues & Boogie Summer Night München (D), u.a. mit Martin Schmitt, Christoph Steinbach und Anke Angel

  • The 15th Annual Blues & Boogie Piano Summit Cincinnati (USA), u.a. mit Ricky Nye, Chase Garrett und Luca Sestak

  • 30-minütiger TV-Beitrag über das Chris Conz Trio und die International Boogie Nights Uster auf Tele Top

  • «Piano Off-Stage», Opening im KKL

2013

  • Das Chris Conz Trio gewinnt den Swiss Jazz Award 2013

  • 4ème International Festival de Boogie Woogie Cambrai (F), u.a. mit Renaud Patigny (B), Lasse Jensen (DK) u.v.m.

  • Tour mit dem Pianisten Silvan Zingg (CH) – “Boogie Woogie Made In Switzerland”

  • Internationaal Heineken Boogie & Blues Festival Holland

  • JazzAscona mit dem Chris Conz Trio

  • Internationales Boogie-Woogie und Blues Festival in Kitzbühel

  • USA-Tour, u. a. Konzerte in New York, Iowa und am Internationalen Boogie Festival Cincinnati

2012

  • Zahlreiche Auftritte mit der Trio-Formation in diversen Jazzclubs der Schweiz

  • Rock’n’Roll Night mit Terry & The Hot Sox und den Bill Haley’s Original Comets

  • 3. BODENSEE BOOGIE FESTIVAL: „SHAKE THE SHIP“ – Unteranderem mit Richie Loidl (A), Steve Clayton (UK) u.v.m.

  • Auftritt in der TV-Sendung PRIX WALO in der Trio-Formation, welcher Live auf Star-TV übertragen wurde

  • Veröffentlichte zusammen mit Stefan Ulbricht (D), Daniel Paterok (D) und Moritz Schlömer (D) ein neues Album, welches Live in Deutschland aufgenommen wurde – „The Krug Session“

  • Deutschland-Tour und CD-Präsentation des neuen Albums „The Krug Session“ zusammen mit Stefan Ulbricht, Daniel Paterok und Moritz Schlömer

  • Blues’n’Jazz Rapperswil, zusammen mit Gary Scott (The Royal Rhythms). Sessions unteranderem mit Popa Chubby, Nigel Kennedy und Beverley Knight.

  • Internationales Boogie-Woogie Festival Frankreich (Laroquebrou) zusammen mit Stephanie Trick, Axel Zwingenberger u.v.m.

  • Musikalische Umrahmung am Comedy-Event „Comedy Sofa“ in Uster

  • Organisator der „2. International Boogie Night Uster“ mit über 600 Besuchern restlos ausverkauft.

  • 7. Beaune Blues & Boogie Festival Frankreich u.a. mit Jean-Pierre Bertrand

  • 1. Boogie Night Kaiserslautern u.a. mit Christoph Steinbach, Albert Koch, Pete York u.v.m.

 

2011

  • Deutschland Tour – Chris Conz Solo

  • Boogie Night Hinwil mit den Piano Brothers und Jörg Hegemann

  • Int. Boogie Woogie Festival Basel mit u.a. mit Axel Zwingenberger

  • Siegburger Boogie & Jazz Night mit Stefan Ulbricht, Jean-Pierre Bertrand und Moritz Schlömer

  • Abu Dhabi Filmfestival – UAE – mit dem Chris Conz Duo

  • Das Chris Conz Trio gewinnt den kleinen PRIX WALO “Beste Nachwuchsband der Schweiz 2011″

 

2010

  • Jazz Festival Sargans – zusammen mit Silvan Zingg und den Crazyiers

  • Aufnahme des neuen Albums “drivin’ the boogie” mit dem Chris Conz Trio

  • Diverse Tours mit dem Chris Conz Trio

  • USA-Tour mit der Pianistin Stephanie Trick

 

2009

  • Begleitete Wanda Jackson am int. Country & Trucker Festival zusammen mit Terry & The Hot Sox

  • Int. Blues & Boogie Reunion – Barcelona, Spanien. U.a. mit Lluis Colomo, Ricky Nye und Fabrice Eurly

  • Boogie Woogie & Blues Night mit Axel Zwingenberger und den Piano Brothers

  • Boogie Woogie & Blues Night, Zürich – zusammen mit Frank Muschalle Trio

 

2008

  • Music Night Tenero u.a. mit Silvan Zingg, Anke Angle und Eric Lee

  • 20. Jähriges Jubiläum Boogie Woogie Connection, Hamburg – Deutschland u.a. mit Axel Zwingenberger, Vince Weber, Jo Bohnsack, Frank Muschalle u.v.m.

  • Int. Boogie Woogie Festival, Kitzbüehl – Österreich

  • Int. Boogie Woogie Festival Lugano – Schweiz

  • Blues & Boogie Show, Zürich – Schweiz. Mit Axel Zwingenberger und Lila Ammons.

  • Private Auftritte in Denver Colorado und Gastauftritte in div. Casinos von Las Vegas – USA

 

2007

  • Int. Boogie Woogie Festival Lugano

  • Zahlreiche private- und öffentliche Auftritte im In- und Ausland, unter anderem mit dem Trio.

 

2006

  • Swing Crash Festival, Como – Italien

  • Boogie Woogie Connection, Hamburg u.a. mit Bob Seeley, Axel Zwingenberger, Gottfried Böttger u.v.m.

  • Öffentliche und private Konzerte in Europa, u.a. in Frankreich, Luxembourg und Deutschland

  • Int. Boogie Woogie Festival Kitzbüehl – Österreich. U.a. mit Christoph Steinbach

  • Int. Boogie Woogie Festival Lugano (Aufzeichnung von BBC World)

  • Veröffentlich seine erste CD „Boogie Woogie Breakup“

 

2005

  • Open-Air Port, im Vorpgramm mit Terry & The Hot Sox  von Bill Haley’s Original Comets

  • Int. Boogie Woogie Festival Fontmell Magna, England. U.a. mit Julian Philips, Martjin Schock

  • Int. Boogie Woogie Festival Lugano

  • 1. Boogie Woogie Night – Starnberg – Deutschland. U.a. mit Martin Schmitt, Jean-Pierre Bertrand und Christoph Steinbach

 

2004

  • Teilnahme am grössten Boogie Woogie Festival der Welt in Laroquebrou – Frankreich u.a. mit Claude Bolling, Jean-Paul Amouroux, Jean-Pierre Bertrand

  • Int. Boogie Woogie Festival in Beuvron en Auge – Frankreich u.a. mit Martin Schmitt und Silvan Zingg

  • Chris wird Mitglied bei der Band Terry & The Hot Sox

  • Int. Boogie Woogie Festival Lugano. U.a. mit Joja Wendt, Silvan Zingg u.v.m

  • Jazztage Pino Torinese, Turin – Italien. Mit Silvan Zingg

  • div. öffentliche und private Auftritte in der Schweiz und in Deutschland. U.a. mit Carl Sonny Leyland, Jean-Paul Amouroux und Silvan Zingg

 

2003

  • Blues, Rock & Boogie Night, Zürich. Mit Hamp Goes Wild.

  • Gastauftritt am Boogie Woogie Festival, Lugano

 

2002

  • Gründung des Chris Conz Duos mit Mario Von Holten am Schlagzeug

 

2001

  • Erster Platz an einem Talentwettbewerb in Uster Zürich

 

1998

  • Erster Auftritt als Boogie Woogie Pianist

 

1996

  • Erste Boogie Woogie Lektionen durch Hamp Ruosch

 

1995

  • Chris entdeckt das Klavier

 

1985

  • Am 22. Oktober in Uster Zürich geboren.

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Kontakt

Chris Conz

Breitigasse 1

CH-8610 Uster

chris@chrisconz.ch

+41 79 753 96 94

© 2019 by Chris Conz - Boogie Woogie, Blues and Jazz Piano - Switzerland