triangle  music  school

Ulrich Gradinger


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In 1987 Uli finished Realschule (10th grade) in his hometown of Mainz, Germany. The year before he decided to move to Paris, France. He had a romantic idea of becoming a writer. The first story he wrote was about a kid that meets a saxophone player in the Paris Metro and learns to play saxophone from him. And so, this happened to Uli Gradinger. That story became the script of his young adult life as a jazz musician and student for the next 20 years. He moved to Paris and met a saxophone player in the Paris Metro. He showed Uli where to put his fingers and how to blow into the saxophone and he even let him borrow his new Selmer saxophone. Uli immediately started playing in the Paris Metro and this is how his journey into music began.

Michael Rubinstein, a musician friend of Uli's introduced him to jazz music and the life of a jazz musician. Uli had been playing in the Paris Metro about a year and one night he'd planned to go to a concert of one of his heroes at the time, Archie Shepp. Archie was scheduled to play at the New Morning Jazz Club in Paris. Uli's plan was to play in the subway during the day to make the money for the concert that night. He delayed and procrastinated all day and soon the evening arrived. He managed to find the courage to play at Chatlet Metro Station. He closed his eyes and got into a musical zone and when he opened his eyes there was a small crowd gathered around him and the exact amount of money he needed to buy a ticket to the concert was laying in his case. That experience describes his early days discovering jazz music in Paris. It's also one of his earliest and greatest memories of playing and listening to jazz.