Pure Desmond


Lorenz Hargassner - saxophone

Born on July 1st, 1978, it wasn´t until Lorenz Hargassner turned 20 that he discovered the saxophone. After spending a year at the Gustav-Mahler-Conservatorium in Vienna, he enrolled at Hanover University for Music, Drama, and Dance were he graduated with the degree diplom. In 2004, he received a full-tuition scholarship to the New School University in New York City for one year, where he studied with Seamus Blake, Miguel Zénon and Peter Bernstein. After returning from abroad in 2005, Lorenz moved to Berlin where he continued his studies; in 2007 he graduated with a masters of honors from the Jazz-Institute-Berlin. After graduation Lorenz moved to Hamburg, where he is currently living and working. In 2001 and also in 2006 and 2007, Adam Holzman, the musical director of the Miles Davis band in the 80s, asked Lorenz to join his band "Brave New World". A European tour and live recordings were to follow. In January 2008, an interview with Lorenz and the U.S. musician was published in the German music magazine "Keyboards". In 2002, he founded the band "Pure Desmond" which was inspired by and pays tribute to the cool jazz sound of the Paul Desmond Quartet with Jim Hall, Gene Wright, and Connie Ray. The goal: to use new arrangements to transport the cool jazz sound into the 21st century. Since 2006, the group has been cooperating with the renowned string quartet "Szymanowski-Qaurtet" on various occasions and together they recorded the album "The Meeting of Minds". Lorenz personally wrote the arrangements for the eight-person string ensemble. Pure Desmond released their latest album "When Lights are Low" (minor music / in-akustik) in 2012. The album won the German Record Critics Award 2012 and the release has garnered a lot of attention. In February of 2008, the Lorenz Hargassner Quartet released its debut album "Diversityville" on the label Doublemoon Records as a part of the series "Jazz Thing Next Generation". They followed up the release with "Vitality" (Unit Records) in 2011. The majority of the tracks on both albums are compositions written by the bandleader and have received great reviews by the press. Since the fall of 2008, Lorenz Hargassner has been working as a saxophone instructor at Hanover University for Music, Drama, and Dance in its program "Bachelor for Popular Music". He has an endorsement with the company Vandoren Paris and also freelances as a journalist (among others for Jazzthing, Jazzzeit, Jazzhaus Radio).


Johann Weiß - guitar

Johann Weiss was born in Worms on the Rhine river in Germany. From the time he was ten until he was 18, Johann was a student of the nationally respected guitarist and instrumental pedagogue Alexander Franck. In 1997, he won the 1st prize in the category "Best Soloist Jazz" in the renowned competition "Jugend musiziert". Johann studied electric guitar at the Hanover University of Music, Drama & Media between 1999 and 2005 under the guitar instructors Thomas Brendgens-Mönkemeyer and Prof. Michael Koch. He studied improvisation under Prof. Dr. Herbert Hellhund. Johann received the degree of diplom as a concert musician in 2005. In 2001, he was selected to participate in the "Kontaktstudiengang Popularmusik" in Hamburg on a talent scholarship - a program known as the "pop-course" which is steeped in tradition and has earned the reputation as being the proving grounds for many young talented musicians in Germany. During his time spent on the pop-course, Johann studied under Prof. Peter Weihe, Prof. Udo Dahmen, and Prof. Curt Cress. Since graduating from Hanover, Johann has been instructing electric guitar, studio production, band-playing and music history on music universities in Hanover, Hamburg, Cologne, and Mannheim. In 2015 he became full-time professor at the Hochschule for Music Wuerzburg in Bavaria. Johann has been playing concerts on large concert and festival stages with various ensembles since he was 16. From 2001 to 2017, he has been working as a guitarist, composer, and producer for the successful german actor and musician Jan Josef Liefers. Their band RADIO DORIA became one of the most successful bands in Germany. Their records included many Top10-Hits and were awarded four times with the German Echo Award.


Christian Flohr - bass

Christian Flohr was born in Hanover, Germany, on November 20th, 1976. At the age of 14, he picked up an electric bass for the first time and began to teach himself how to play. His first teacher was Ole Hempelmann, a well-known German rock bassist. In order to prepare for his musical studies at Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Dance, he became a student of the city music school of Hanover. His electric bass instructor was a bassist in the German Jazz scene: Lars Hansen. He also joined the big band "clean, fine & funky" which was led by Achim Kück and with whom he won awards in 1996 during the state orchestra competition and in 1997 in the "winning jazz" competition. In 1999, Christian joined "Windmachine", the state youth jazz orchestra of Lower-Saxony. During his time at Hanover university, he studied under Ede Brumundt-Rüther (electric bass), Detlev Beier (contrabass), and Prof. Herbert Hellhund (improvisation). Christian has been working as a bassist since 2002 and has played in various ensembles. He has played concerts from Brazil to Israel (over 20 countries in total) with the band toktoktok, the German Jazz Award Winner of 2005 and 2006 and has also played various festivals such as the Rheingau Musikfestival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, Festival Canarias Jazz & Más and various others on stages throughout Europe. He has played on numerous jazz and pop albums as a studio bassist. "Pure Desmond", the cool jazz quartet that he joined during his days at university was just awarded the German Record Critics Award 2012 for their latest album "When Lights are Low" (minor music / in-akustik). In addition to his job as a musician, Christian is also an instructor at the Hanover University of Music, Theater, and Dance.


Sebastian Deufel - drums

Sebastian Deufel was born in Freiburg im Breisgrau, Germany, in 1979. He had classical piano lessons from the time he was 5 until he was 18. Sebastian´s career as a drummer began when he was 13. At first he taught himself and later on he became a student of the Hanoverian drummer Willi Hanne. In 1998, Sebastian entered a preparatory instruction course for Hanover University for Music, Drama and Dance. Upon completing the course he enrolled in the university (Jazz/Rock/Pop Major: Drums). While at Hanover university, Sebastian participated in various master courses, among others with: Jimmy Cobb, Wolfgang Haffner, Jochen Rückert, Gerry Hemmingway, and Nils Wogran. In 2002, he graduated from the renowned Kontaktstudiengang Popularmusik (also known as the pop-course, a proving ground for young talented German musicians) of the University of Hamburg where he had instruction from among others, Udo Dahmen and Heinrich Köbberling. In the following year, Sebastian enrolled in a jazz-masterclass given by John Riley and Jimmy Owens in Bassano el Grappa, Italy. In 2004, he moved to New York City for a year of private study. Upon Returning to Germany he began his second degree at Hanover University for Music, Drama, and Dance (Composition: Jazz). Sebastian Deufel is currently working as an accompanist, composer/arranger, and studio musician for several German singers and Liedermacher (German singer-songwriters/balladeers): Gisbert zu Knyphausen, Lilly among clouds, Moritz Krämer, Wolfgang Müller, Noami (with whom he was played national and international concerts in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Ukrainia, USA, Japan, Russia, The Czech Repubic, Italy, and Turkey) among others. He has also worked as a theater composer and musician for various companies in Germany, e.g. Thalia Theater Hamburg, Schauspielhaus Hamburg (Hamburg Theater), Schauspielhaus Hanover (Hanover Theater), Schauspielhaus Frankfurt (Frankfurt Theater), Deutsches Theater Berlin as well as numerous city and independent theaters. Sebastian Deufel is a member of the cool jazz quartet "Pure Desmond", whose last album "When Lights are Low" (minor music / in-akustik) was awarded the German Record Critics Award in 2012.