SWR Jazz Prize 2017 for Christian Lillinger

Christian Lillinger will receive the SWR Jazz Prize 2017, donated half by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and half by the Südwestrundfunk. The drummer, born in 1984 in Lübben, will be presented with the award at the international festival "Enjoy Jazz" in Ludwigshafen next autumn. Also nominated for the SWR Jazz Prize were pianist Simon Nabatov, cellist Elisabeth Coudoux and saxophonist Anna-Lena Schnabel. The jury's reason for awarding the prize to Lillinger reads: "Christian Lillinger is an exceptional figure in German jazz. Courageous and imaginative, he constantly seeks to expand his expressive spectrum - and stands for the non-conformist nature of jazz as an art form. Lillinger's furious drumming is as sound-conscious as it is virtuosic and, moreover, stylistically extremely diverse. In addition to his activities as a driving force in collectively led bands such as Gropper/Graupe/Lillinger, the Trio Grünen or the quartets Amok Amor or KUU!, Lillinger has also repeatedly set strong accents as a composer for his sextet Grund" in recent years.

The SWR Jazz Prize is the oldest jazz prize in Germany and will be awarded for the 37th time in 2017. The jury consists of two representatives each from SWR (Julia Neupert/chair of the jury and Günther Huesmann) and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Georg-Rudolf May, Hans-Jürgen Linke), a member of a jazz organisation (Frank Gratkowski, Union of German Jazz Musicians) and two independent music critics (Ulrich Kriest, Maxi Sickert). The prize is endowed with 15,000 euros.

The formation in which Lillinger will perform at Enjoy Jazz in Ludwigshafen at the dasHaus cultural centre, as well as the date of the concert, will be announced shortly.