These musicians of German, Austrian and American origin met in their current home-base Berlin and have been playing extensively as a band for about five years.
The Trio “DRIFT” mainly works with compositions by guitarist Johannes Haage and drummer Joe Smith which offer a great variety of stylistic starting points from which they embark on new musical journeys together, creating open spaces for spontaneous improvisation and mutual interplay. As in a dreamlike state, their music drifts from sparse to dense, from pop-like structures to free improvisation – but always staying true to the melody of the song and the calling of the moment.
The Group has played many concerts in Berlin (Atrane, Zig Zag, Donau115 etc) since its inception, and toured in Germany successfully in 2017 (Jazzfest Kassel etc.)
They recently finished recording their second album “Darwin´s Blues”, due out in early 2019, which features both bass players who are actively involved in the band: Founding member Matthias Pichler (Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio, Marc Copland etc.) as well as Oliver Potratz (Klima Kalima, Helen Schneider, etc.)
The new compositions by Haage and Smith on the Album expand the concept of their debut album “Drift” by adding new elements like overdubs, loops, extended instrumental techniques and electronic modifications to the acoustic sound of the Band, thus opening up new pathways for fresh new live exploration of the material.
Over the years his travels playing and studying music took him to places like the Center of the Arts in Banff, Canada, and New York City where he had the chance to play with and deepen his studies with Bill Frisell, Brad Shepik, Ben Monder, Mark Turner, Dave Douglas, Drew Gress, Ralph Alessi and many others.
In Berlin he has been a very active member of the vital young jazz and improvised music scene since moving there in 2002, playing with many different musicians like Ben Kraef, Philipp Gropper, Ritsche Koch, Oli Steidle, the SLOWTRIO w/ Simon Bauer & Brendan Dougherty, Diego Pinera, Christian Ugurel and many more.
The Johannes Haage Trio, featuring Andreas Lang on bass and Sebastian Merk on drums, released the critically acclaimed album „Johannes Haage Trio plays Marlene Dietrich“ on Meta Records in late 2010.
Besides the many loose collaborations and gigs as sideman he currently enjoys very much playing in a collaborative Trio with bassist Matthias Pichler and drummer Joe Smith, who recorded their debut Album "Drift" for shoebill music.
In 2006 Johannes Haage was a member of shoebill music´s original founding team which would soon after disperse. Since 2008 he is the sole owner and managing director of the label.
Johannes Haage plays on:
During various longer visits to New York City, besides numerous performance opportunities, he had the opportunity to study with bassists John Patitucci, Larry Grenadier and Marc Johnson.
He has performed internationally with Wolfgang Muthspiel, , Attosphere, Maria Bill, Christof Dienz, XY-Band, GHO Orchestra, Jochen Rückert, Marc Copland, Nils Wogram, Louise Jensen, Dominykas und Petras Vysniauskas, Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra and many more.
In 2004 he received the Hans-Koller-Prize and a scholarship, and was selected “Sideman of the Year” in 2006.
In 2010 he won 1st Prize at the International Upright Bass Congress “BASS2010” (Berlin) in the Jazz Category.
Matthias Pichler plays on:
After moving to Barcelona in 2000, he released two disc’s as a leader. Happy (2002) and Melodic Workshop (2004) on Fresh sound records which features Bill McHenry, Gorka Benitez, Guillermo Klein, Chris Lightcap and Jorge Rossy.
Joe has been a featured sideman on the recordings of John McNeil, Arthur Kell, Ryan Blotnick, Fredrik Carlquist, Brandon Miller and many others. He has toured extensively in Europe and the Scandinavian Countries. In 2008 he formed the Asociación Libre Orkesta, a free form Big Band which performed improvised music inspired by his poetry and projected Images. In 2010 the Orkesta took part in the summer festival Jazz al Parque in Bogotá, Columbia.
In the fall of 2011, he moved to Berlin and in 2012 took part in the Deutsches Theater’s production of Shakespeare. Spiele für Mörder, Opfer und Sonstige, directed by Dimiter Gotscheff where he performed improvised music in a group featuring George Donchev, Kalle Kalima and Harri Sjöström. He is currently playing as a sideman in the groups of Larry Porter, Johannes Lauer, Jessica Einaudi, Johannes Haage, Alex Kozmidi and Kyra Garey and also leads his own group Joe Smith’s Melodic Workshop. In 2015 Joe presented a new project called Many Stories that he had been working on for the last 6 years and incorporated a book of his short stories with a live performance that blended his poetry, songs and spoken words with projected images and videos.
Joe Smith plays on