The K Square
Charis Karantzas (guitar)
Charis Karantzas was born in Athens, where he also started playing the guitar. At the age of 18 he went to Amsterdam (Holland) to study jazz guitar at the Conservatory Amsterdam. Two years later he moved to Berlin to study with masters like Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Hollenbeck, Greg Cohen and Peter Bernstein. He has partaken in master-classes with Peter Erskine, Jim Black, Peter Bernstein, Dave Liebman, Mark Turner, Barry Harris, Jeff Ballard, Jonathan Kreisberg and others.
Julian Külpmann (drums)
Besides his band the K Square, the Berlin-based drummer works, among others, with Richie Beirach, Steffen Schorn, Emil Mangelsdorff, Julia Hülsmann, RTL Allstar Band, Nené Vásquez, Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, Marko Lackner, Mike Herting, T.A.S. Mani, Ramesh Shotham, Tino Derado, Geir Lysne, Lars Möller, Achim Seifert Project, DNA Group, Toke, and is the drummer of the “Bundesjazzorchester” (BuJazzO).
After his junior-studies at the HMT Hannover, he began studying at the Jazz Institute Berlin in 2009 with jazz greats like Prof. John Hollenbeck, Jeff Ballard, Joey Baron, Jim Black and Dan Weiss.
Julian has won many awards – both solo and with bands: „Best Young European Musicians Competition“ 2002, „Jugend Jazzt Niedersachsen“, “Skoda Jazzpreis“ 2007, “Winning Jazz“ 2005/09, „Drummer Of Tomorrow 2007, WDR Jazzpreis, Future Sounds 2010.
Thomas Stieger (bass)
Thomas Stieger is a very busy sideman, but also composer and bandleader for his own trio. His creativity finds outlets in various genres like jazz, funk, fusion but also pop and rock. Live and in the studio he’s working with Adrian Mears, Kuno Schmid, Torsten Goods, Cosmo Klein, Della Miles and is an important young bass player for the Berlin music scene. In 2011 he finished his studies with Greg Cohen at the Jazz Institute Berlin, where he also had classes with Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Hollenbeck and David Friedman.
Manuel Schmiedel (Rhodes)
Manuel Schmiedel, K Square’s pianist, is one of the most sought-after musicians of Berlin’s creative scene. Born in Weinheim, he already started playing the piano at the age of 5. Immediately after finishing High School he moves to Berlin to study music with Hubertus Nuss, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Greg Cohen, where he meets the other musicians of the band. Among others, he plays with “Roman Ott Quartett”, “Fini Bearman Band”(UK), “Kalle Zeier 4”, as well as the “Lisbeth Quartett”. Manuel tours a lot through Germany and Europe and has played festivals like the Jazzmeeting Berlin, Jazzwoche Burghausen and Jazz Baltica. Currently he is a member in Kurt Rosenwinkel’s up-and-coming new band project.
Johannes Böhmer (trumpet)
Johannes Böhmer was born 1984 in Göttingen and started playing the trumpet at the age of 11. With 16 he became a junior-student at the HMT Hannover and shortly after began studying at the Conservatory Amsterdam as well as the University Philadelphia, where he graduates in 2009. He is currently living in Berlin and plays with many different projects such as Jean Quadrat, BuJazzo, K Square, Julia Hülsmann Large Ensembe, Skazka Orchestra, SNO, RJA and many more.
Kati Brien (sax)
Kati Brien was born in 1989 in Stuttgart. In 2001 she begins playing the saxophone. 2007-2008 she was a member of the “Landesjugendjazzorchester Baden-Württemberg“ and a junior-student at the Conservatory Stuttgart. More and more often she started playing with professional musicians, especially around Stuttgart; for example Martin Schrack, Thilo Wagner, Lorenzo and Davide Petrocca. After graduating from High School in 2008, she moved to Berlin to continue studying there at the Jazz Institute with Peter Weniger. In 2009 and in the two following years, she was invited to the Theaterhaus Jazztage Stuttgart with a different one of her projects each year. Besides her own bands like „el.briño“ or her „Dream Band“, she has been a member of the Bundesjazzorchester since 2010.