Jan Prax is an award-winning saxophonist, composer, pianist and band leader.
Born in Karlsruhe in 1992 he 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 rapidly. Soon he was awarded the grant for highly talented students of the Badisches Konservatorium. He studied under Laszlo Wolpert, Peter Lehel and
gained his bachelor's degree with honours under professor Klaus Graf. In the beginning of 2019 he received his master's degree at the University of the Performing Arts
In 2012 he was awarded a scholarship by 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 under 35. The Jan Prax Quartet also won the Stuttgart Jazz Open-Playground as well as the nationwide Jazznachwuchsfestival
In 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 served as a supporting act for Klaus Doldinger's Passport. Outside of Europe, his tours brought him to the USA and Northern Africa.
In 2014 Klaus Doldinger presented the Sparda Jazz Award to the Jan Prax Quartet, and the Quartet also 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 of 2014 Jan has held a fellowship from the Studienstiftung des deutschen
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 German record critics' prize and which was included in the "TOP 20 - Best Jazz Albums of 2015" by UK Vibe Magazine, was released in March 2015.
In early 2015 the Jan Prax Quartet was 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 he also joined the quintet of renowned double bassist Riccardo
del Fra, who is one of the most prominent figures on the European Jazz scene. Jan is also playing on Riccardo's current CD "Moving People" (Cristal, Sony) which features Kurt Rosenwinkel and Jason
Brown among others.
In 2017 Jan joined the Sideguys Band in
the USA, consisting of legendary drummer Gene Lake, Richard Patterson and Nicky Moroch. This project is currently working a new CD.
The second album of the Jan Prax Quartet "Ascending" (Challenge Records) was released worldwide in April of 2018. It features guest artists like
Soweto Kinch and Bodek Janke and received raving reviews.
In the beginning of 2019 Jan was awarded with a scholarship by the Arts Foundation Baden-Württemberg.
Jan Prax has played with David Sanborn, Randy Brecker, Riccardo del Fra, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gene Lake, Klaus Doldinger, Chris Coleman, 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
"…a rising star of the German jazz scene." – Prague Post
"Hardly anyone in Germany plays Hard Bop like Jan Prax." - Jazzthing, Jan
"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." –
"… he plays the alto saxophone like hell…" – Hamburger
"… four world-class musicians…"
"… an energetic first-class ‘furiosum" – Augsburger
"… Jan is so on fire, is so dynamic (…) that one 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
"… 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