I have played drum set since 1971, professionally since 1979.
Though rather attached to Modern Jazz, from 1975 on I played with many bands of the strictly traditional "Hamburger Szene" (was permanent with the Blackbirds of Paradise, with Gottfried Böttger, Norbert Susemihl's Arlington Annex, and Riverside Jazz Connexion). In 1997 I founded the Mainstream Swing band Avalon Casino Kings. From 2005 to 2015 I played with the Swing Combination. Presently I am working with the Swinging Ballroom Six, the Swing Composers' Orchestra, the Marc Löhrwald Nonet, and with Norbert Susemihl's Joyful Gumbo.
Also, I played with a number of the first post-war generation of Jazz musicians in Germany, such as Hans Haider, Ladi Geisler, Günter Fuhlisch, Stefan von Dobrczynski, Joe Sydow, (American) Herb Geller, Paul Kuhn and Nana Gualdi.
I had been one of the house drummers of the club "Tropical Brasil" on the Reeperbahn (1981-85), and in 1985, I was probably one of the first German drummers to adopt Songo and various Salsa rhythms to the drum set.
My own project is currently the Blutone Sextet, in which I am returning to Hard Bop and Post-Bop after 35 years.
Except for initial snare drum lessons with Otto Frahm and Manfred Sperling, I have been my own teacher and mentor completely, as far as the drum set is concerned.
Since 1976, I have played various percussion instruments in addition to the drum set, with an emphasis on Latin-American music.
Among my teachers were Bernardo Ball, Rodolfo "El Moro", José Luis Quintana "Changuito", John Santos, Nicky Marrero, Juan Bausta, and John Amira (Vaudou drumming).
In 1979, I had been a founding member of the first Hamburg-based Salsa band and played with many other local groups later on. Moreover, I played with Lu LaFayette's Wolfsmond, with Eartha Kitt, Jesús Guerra, Olivia Molina, the Orchester Frank Valdor, the NDR-Bigband, with Joe Gallardo's Latino Blue and Sonora 51. Currently I am a member of the extended Lorenz Boesche-Trio.
Among my own projects were the percussion groups Cuero! Cuero! (Ghanaian and Afro-Cuban music), Comparsa Malecón (Cuban carnival music), and the Latin Jazz Band Septeto Miramar.
Although subsumable under percussion as much as any one of the other instruments mentioned above (including the drum set), batá drummers are quite aware of the fact that this particular drum trio, linked to the traditional Yorùbá religion in West Africa and in Cuba, forms a whole universe of its own.
I got my first batá drum set in 1988. While I transcribed dozens of the traditional Afro-Cuban toques by myself, I enjoyed the assistance and instruction of my fellow German drummers Ralf Moufang, Ottmar Köhler and Andreas Molino, and of Cubans Milian Galí, Francisco Hernández Mora "Pancho Quinto", Felix Navarro and Cristobal Larrinaga, as well as Angel Bolaños, Daniel Carbonell and Reimundo Sosa in Havana.
In the years 1994-2005 I founded and directed the group Ayé Ilu in Hamburg, which focused exclusively on Lukumí music, complete with drummers, singers and dancers.
In 1998 I published my book Cantos Lucumí a los Orichas which became a standard work for Lukumí vocal music worldwide.
In 2005, I was officially initiated as omoañá in Regla (city of Havana), which allows me to play consecrated drums in ceremonies (which I did).
In Hamburg, I had worked with Juan "Petit" Ortíz and Arturo Martínez Cabrera, and with pianist Adonis González, among others.
Professional musicianship requires a great deal of versatility, which led me to play in theaters, studios, private parties just as well as big festival stages or jazz clubs, all kinds or sizes of orchestration (incl. solo), belly dance accompaniment, New Orleans style brass band parades, Top-40 dance bands, Rhythm & Blues, Rock'n'Roll and Country & Western music, Klezmer music, semi-classical music, reading and non-reading situations.