Karl Jannuska


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Drummer, composer and producer Karl Jannuska

has called Paris his home for the past twenty years. Hailing from Brandon, Manitoba in the Canadian prairies, Karl started drumming at the age of four - first on pots and pans and eventually moving on to a full set of drums at the age of seven. With the guidance of local music teachers Brent Campbell, Doug Sullivan and Wayne Bowman as well as older university students that took Karl under their wing, the young drummer moved to Montreal where he completed a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University, graduating with High Distinction in Jazz Performance. In addition to valuable instruction from professors such as Gordon Foote, Chris McCann, Kevin Dean and André White, it was an experience that gave Karl a thirst for writing his own music.

In 1999, with grants from the Canadian and Quebec Arts Councils, Karl moved to Brooklyn where he studied with Tom Rainey. A year later Karl moved to Paris where he has become one of the most versatile and in-demand drummers. He can be heard on over 100 records and he has performed concerts in over 30 countries sharing the stage and/or recording with musicians including Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Lionel Loueke, Hugh Coltman, Mark Turner, Christine Jensen, Enrico Pieranunzi, Ben Monder, Emile Parisien, Leif Vollebekk, Randy Brecker, François Bourassa, Kevin Hays, Brad Turner, Franck Amsallem, Chuck Israels, Sam Yahel, Michel Donato, and Kurt Rosenwinkel. He can also be heard as a member of the bands of Toine Thys, Olivier Bogé, Meta, Matthis Pascaud, Nicolas Moreaux, Michael Felberbaum, Thomas Savy, Cobra Fantastic, Pierre de Bethmann and Christophe Dal Sasso with whom he recently won a Victoires du Jazz award for "Group of the Year".

Unsatisfied with only being an accompanist, Karl completes his musical identity with his songwriting and has released six albums entirely comprised of his own original compositions : Liberating Vines (2004) received an Opus Award for "Jazz and World Music album of the year" ; Thinking in Colours (2008) includes his song "House of 100 Faces" which received a CBC Etoiles Galaxie prize for "Most original composition" at the Montreal International Jazz Festival ; Streaming (2010) debuted his eight-year collaboration with Canadian vocalist Sienna Dahlen ; The Halfway Tree (2012) was awarded a grant from the SACEM for self-produced albums ; Midseason (2016), with music and lyrics entirely penned by Karl, this recording features Canadian vocalist Denzal Sinclaire, in addition to Sienna ; On The Brighter Side (2018), classified as "ethereal indie jazz" and bridging Karl's love of bands such as Radiohead, Deerhoof, Dirty Projectors and Bjork with his jazz roots, this album marked the beginning of a new collaboration with French vocalist Cynthia Abraham. Midseason and On The Brighter Side were released on the Shed Music label - a label that Karl cofounded in 2015 with Christophe Panzani, Pierre Perchaud and Tony Paeleman, members of his close-knit musical family who also form the band The Watershed. Karl's newest recording, an EP entitled Featherweight with Swedish vocalist Sofie Sorman is scheduled for release on January 15th, 2021.

Two-time runner-up in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition, Karl also enjoys teaching music and has shared his knowledge at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, the Centre des Musiques Didier Lockwood, Conservatoire National de Belgique. He has also been a member of the teaching faculty at the French festivals Jazz in Marciac and Jazz à Vienne.


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