Dirk Bleese

Composer, Pianist


Dirk Bleese was born in Hamburg in 1968. He studied jazz piano education at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin under Walter Norris and David Friedman and was one of the participants on the “Popkurs” at the Hamburger Hochschule für Musik und Theater in 1991. In addition to his many years of work as a piano teacher and band coach at the Staatliche Jugendmusikschule Hamburg, he has worked as a jazz soloist, as a musical director for stage plays and musicals, and as a composer/ arranger, as well as initiating numerous festivals and concert series.


In 2021 he signed as a composer with Universal Edition Vienna, who have since published his works “jazz piano volumes 1-5”. Until 2018 he was curator of Halle 424 Hamburg, which won the APPLAUS venue award in 2018. In the same year he released the CD “in zwischen” with the Dirk Bleese Trio (Oliver Potratz - bass, Tilo Weber - drums); prior to that in 2016 he released the CD “in between”, with the same line-up. He has performed with internationally established musicians such as Gary Thomas, Herb Geller, Howard Johnson and Jiggs Whigham, as well as numerous musicians on the German and Hamburg jazz scenes.


Dirk Bleese was the founder and long-term director of the “junge akademie”, a training course at the JMS preparing students for university-level studies. He has been a guest conductor and arranger for the NDR (North German Radio) Big Band, a musical director for "BUDDY HOLLY: The Musical" in Hamburg; and has played keyboards for every one of Hamburg’s musical theaters, as well as being an onstage musician in several stage plays at major theaters in Hamburg.


Dirk Bleese was founder and chairman of the JazzHaus Hamburg e.V. and the Jazzbüro Hamburg e.V., and was responsible for the concept, management and organization of the first 3 iterations of “JazzHausfestival”, as well as the festival “Jazz in Hamburg” and the “Hamburger Big Band Spektakel”. He also founded and managed the Hamburg Jazz Orchestra and advised the Dr. E.A. Langner Foundation on the following topics: Jazz Academy, the Hamburg Jazz Award and Jazz Scholarships.