Jan Prax is an award-winning saxophonist, composer, pianist and band leader.
He was born in Karlsruhe in 1992 and began his musical education at the age of three at the piano, winning numerous prizes as a classical pianist. During his youth his interest in jazz saxophone grew fast. Soon he got awarded the grant for the high talented of the Badisches Konservatorium. He was taught by Laszlo Wolpert, Peter Lehel and passed his bachelor's degree with professor Klaus Graf with honors. He continues his master studies in Munich.
2012 he was awarded with a scholarship of the Berklee College of Music in Boston and won the future sounds prize of the Leverkusener Jazztage with his quartet, the most important jazz prize for musicians younger than 35. The Jan Prax Quartet also won the Stuttgart Jazz Open-Playground as well as the nationwide Jazznachwuchsfestival Leipzig.
2013 Jan Prax played as an opener for Diana Krall at the Stuttgart Jazz Open and for David Sanborn, Steve Gadd and Cindy Blackman Santana at the Leverkusener Jazztage; he further played as a supporting act for Klaus Doldinger's Passport.
Apart from Europe his tours brought him to the USA and Africa.
In 2014 the Jan Prax Quartet got presented the Sparda Jazz Award by Klaus Doldinger and won the Czech Jazz Contest in Prague. The following year Jan was invited to be a jury member for the Czech Jazz Contest.
Since the summer term 2014 Jan is fellowship holder of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes.
At the same time he signed a record deal with the renowned jazz label ACT Music. The debut album “Keepin’ A Style Alive” which has been nominated for the prize of the German record critics and was included in the "TOP 20 - Best Jazz Albums of 2015" by UK Vibe Magazine, was published in March 2015.
In the beginning of 2015 the Jan Prax Quartet got awarded third prize of the Made in New York Jazz Competition by a jury composed of Joe Lovano, Lenny White, and Randy Brecker.
In 2016 Jan Prax was invited by David Sanborn to perform with him and his group and started working in the quintet of renowned double bassist Riccardo Del Frà.
In 2017 Jan was invited to join the Sideguys Project in New York City, consisting of some of the best musicians in the world including legendary drummer Gene Lake as well as Richard Patterson and Nicky Moroch.
Jan Prax has played with David Sanborn, Randy Brecker, Chris Coleman, Gene Lake, Riccardo del Frà, Klaus Doldinger, Alex Blake, Peter Weniger, Ricky Peterson, Soweto Kinch, Nicky Moroch, Judy Niemack, Bobby Sanabria, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Sunday Night Orchestra, Geoffroy de Masure, Klaus Graf, Dré Pallemaerts, Bodek Janke, Olaf Polziehn, Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr and others.
“…a rising star of the German jazz scene.” – Prague Post
“The eloquence with which Prax modulates on the alto and soprano saxophone is astonishing. […] the change between clarity and complexity, of rounded notes to ridiculously fast phrasing seems effortless” – Frankfurter Allgemeine
“Dizzying virtuosity” – Die Welt
“… has what it takes to become the new star of the German jazz scene.” – Südkurier
“… he plays the alto saxophone like hell…” – Hamburger Abendblatt
“… four world-class musicians…
“… an energetic first-class ‘furiosum’” – Augsburger Allgemeine
“… Jan is so on fire, is so dynamic (…) that on is reminded of Chris Potter. He shapes coherent bows and seems to always seek the un-heard, a variant, something he has not said before…” – BNN Karlsruhe
“… unbridled, driving force, energy and joy…” – Leverkusener Jazztage
“… everybody is excited: no surprise when listening to the intensity of the fabulous, versatile saxophonist Jan Prax…” – Bayerische Staatszeitung
“Jan Prax […] has impressed me by his incredible talent and his strong will. I expect great things.” – Peter Lehel // HfMKarlsruhe
“He is the biggest discovery in the German jazz saxophone scene of the last years!” – Klaus Graf // HfM Nürnberg
“intense and powerful” – Haller Tagblatt – Südwest Presse
“intense, wild and timeless” – Hohenlohe Tagblatt – SüdwestPresse
"The Jan Prax Quartet really are "Keepin' A Style Alive"" – UK Vibe