BIO

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Shared the stage with

 

As a bass player:

Mike Stern, Jorge Rossy, Oz Noy, Joe Lovano (with MSM Jazz Orchestra), Till Brönner, Nils Landgren, Sean Wayland, Valerie Simpson, Jiggs Whigham, Judy Niemack, Peter Weniger, Marc Cary, Jay Clayton, Ben Eunson, Jean-Paul Bourelli, David Haynes, Wanja Slavin, Universal Music Label and the Berlin Jazz Orchestra among others

 

As a band leader/ composer:

Niklas Lukassen's Mandala, Gentle Giant, Aurora Ensemble, Niklas Lukassen Quintet

 

As a vocalist:

German National Jazz Orchestra ("BuJazzO"), Lajjazzo (Big Band conducted by Jiggs Whigham), Young Voices Brandenburg

 

 

 

Academic Career

 

Music Schools attended:

Bach Spezialschule fur Musik - high school for outstanding young musicians

Jazz Institute Berlin - Bachelor of Music

Manhattan School of Music - Master Of Music (full scholarship recipient)

 

Fromative Teachers and Mentors:

Ron Carter, Christian Von Kaphengst, Gregory Cohen, David Grossman, Dave Liebman, Joe Locke, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jim McNeely, John Hollenbeck 

 

Selection of summer programs/ residencies attended:

European Jazz Academy (2013)

Berklee College of Music, Five-Week Summer Performance program (full scholarship recipient) (2013+2014)

Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency (2018)

 
 
Competitions/ Awards

 

  • "Jugend Jazzt" National Youth Jazz Award Recipient (Germany, 2013)

  • Bass Solo Competition "Bass Solo Fun" (USA, 2013)

  • Winner of "Jugend Musiziert" (Germany, 2014) (Best Youth Big Band Nation Wide with "JayJayBeCe") 

  • Bass Solo Competition "Bass Solo Fun" (USA, 2014)

  • Award Recipient "Thomann Bass Day" (2014)

  •  “Custom Music Duisburg" award for outstanding bass performance in cooperation with bass players magazine "Bass Quarterly" (Germany, 2015)

  • Generous endorsements, including the dedication of a "Niklas Lukassen Signature Bass Guitar Model" from "Merlos" (Spain, 2016) 

  • Scholar of the "Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now e.V." foundation (Germany, 2016)

Niklas Lukassen, born in Southern Germany in 1995, lives in New York and Berlin. He was brought up in a household that encouraged creativity in the fine arts. Early on, he expressed an eager interest in drawing and painting. He started his first musical endeavors receiving classical piano lessons from a young age. As a teenager, he picked up different musical instruments before finding his way to the electric bass at age 14. He moved to Berlin after receiving special permission to attend the “Jazz Institute Berlin” after auditioning at age 16 while attending the “Bach Spezialschule fur Musik”, a high school for outstanding young musicians.

Embarking on his new life in Germany’s capital marked his entrance into the world of the double bass. Early international learning experiences included spending two summers at “Berklee College of Music” in Boston on a full scholarship and attending prestigious programs such as the “Betty Carter Jazz Ahead” residency in Washington D.C..

Establishing himself as both a sideman and bandleader, Niklas possesses the ability to stay true to style while expressing a voice of his own. In addition to his activities as a bass player, he has frequently displayed his talents as a composer and as a vocalist in various groups such as the German National Jazz Orchestra (BuJazzO).

Upon his arrival in New York in the summer of 2017 as a student on a full scholarship in the Masters Degree program at “Manhattan School of Music” under the mentorship of jazz legend Ron Carter, he has advanced his steps into the international jazz scene as a rising force on both the acoustic and electric bass.
His professional concert activities include tours to Malaysia, China, England, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and the USA. Notable venues include the John F. Kennedy Center Washington D.C., Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola NYC, Berlin Philharmonie and the Shanghai Concert Hall. Furthermore, Niklas Lukassen appeared as a sideman for acts under the label Universal Music on many of the top festivals in popular music in Europe such as the "Hurricane Festival". As a bandleader he has been invited to perform at the International Jazz Day in West Africa.