Creative jazz trombonist and composer Nils Wogram has performed and recorded in a wide variety of settings from solo to large ensemble, and has released over 20 albums as a leader or co-leader. Wogram was born in 1972 in Braunschweig, Germany, and at the age of 12 he began classical training at the Braunschweig School of Music. He won a number of awards at the Jegend Musiziert competition, and various other honors and grants came from both his jazz and classical music skills.
In 1989, Wogram joined the German Federal Jazz Orchestra led by Peter Herbolzheimer. Three years later, Wogram moved to New York City for a couple of years, thanks to a grant he received to attend the New School to learn arrangement, composition, and trombone. While in the United States, he studied with artists including Buster Williams, Reggie Workman, Jiggs Whigham, and Conrad Herwig. He recorded his debut album, New York Conversations, in 1994 under the Mons Records label.
Wogram formed the Nils Wogram Quartet with cellist and bassist Henning Sieverts, pianist Simon Nabatov, and drummer Jochen Rueckert. Solo and working with his quartet, Wogram performed with the Frank Band, Gunter Hampel's Next Generation, Jazzkantine, and many others at a number of festivals and concerts all over the world. Round Trip, Wogram's second album, was released in 1997 by the Enja Records label. It was followed a year later by Speed Life, with tracks such as "King of Trash," "Hotel Blues," and "Circle." Wogram finished out the '90s with a pair of duo recordings, As We Don't Know It with pianist Nabatov and Serious Fun with fellow German trombonist Konrad Bauer.
The new millennium saw Wogram embark on a prolific schedule of recording dates leading various ensembles that demonstrated the trombonist's wide range in post-bop, modern jazz, creative improvisation, and other styles and idioms. The 2001 Enja release Odd and Awkward featured Wogram leading a sextet and octet including creative jazzers from both Europe and the United States. That same year, the trombonist introduced Root 70, a quartet featuring saxophonist Hayden Chisholm, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Rueckert, with an eponymous debut album on the 2nd Floor label. Root 70 would become one of Wogram's most longstanding ensembles, with albums released throughout the decade and beyond, including Getting Rooted (2003, Enja), Fahrvergnügen (2006, Intuition), and the dubbed-out nu jazz outing Heaps Dub (2006, Nonplace), as well as several "Conceptual Works" albums: the imaginary jazz standards album On 52nd 1/4 Street (2008, Intuition), the bluesy Listen to Your Woman (2011, NWOG), and the chamber jazz-informed Riomar (2014, NWOG).
Wogram also collaborated with the NDR Bigband on 2007's Enja recording Portrait of a Band, and explored Hammond organ-fueled groove jazz with his Nostalgia trio (featuring organist Arno Krijger and drummer Dejan Terzic). The latter group's recordings include Daddy's Bones (2004, Intuition), Affinity (2008, Intuition), and Sturm und Drang (2011, NWOG). During the new millennium Wogram also continued to perform and record in duo settings, particularly with pianist Nabatov, with whom he released the albums Starting a Story (2002, Act), The Move (2005, Between the Lines), Jazz Limbo (2007, Leo), and Moods and Modes (2011, NWOG). Wogram lives in Zurich, Switzerland, and has taught at the Lucerne School of Music since 2004. ~ Charlotte Dillon & Dave Lynch, Rovi