Sunday July 9 2023, 4:00 PM

Frank Gratkowski & Nicola Miller

St. John Evangelist Anglican Church, 388 LaHave Islands Road, Bell Island, LaHave Islands
Sunday 9 July – 4:00 PM

$25 at the door, $20 advance, $10 students. To reserve in advance, email


Nicola Miller


A legend of the European improvised music world, saxophonist Frank Gratkowski will be in Nova Scotia and Musique Royale is delighted to announce that on Sunday July 9 at 4 pm, he will perform at St John’s Church on Bell Island in the LaHave Islands. Frank will be joined by the fabulous Nicola Miller, who is a jazz and experimental saxophonist and composer based on the South Shore. Each artist will perform a solo set, and something together.

Frank Gratkowski has given solo performances since 1990. With his solo program, he was a 1991 prizewinner in the Musik Kreativ contest. The release of the solo CD “Artikulationen” followed the same year. Since then he has continuously developed his solo work and has performed in various venues (jazz festivals, clubs, contemporary music festivals, art museums, art galleries, etc).

His music has been developed on the basis of improvisation, and it makes use of various resources. Formal processes, tone material and sound generation are used to create structural architecture, so that every piece has its own specific character. One main component of the concept is the experimental exploration of the instrument. With his solo music, he has also looked for cooperation or meetings with other art forms such as painting, literature, sculpture, dance, film and multimedia projects.

About the Artists

About Nicola Miller

Nicola Miller is an jazz and experimental saxophonist and composer based on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Her strange tender playing is lyrical and yet stretches toward the avant-garde. She has studied with Frank Gratkowski - a mainstay of the European improvised music scene - Kirk Nurock and grammy nominated composer John Hollenbeck. She holds a master’s degree from UdK’s Jazz Institüt Berlin and has performed frequently in the Berlin improvised music and jazz communities. Here in Nova Scotia, Nicola has appeared alongside Nicole Rampersaud, Charlotte Hüg, Terri Hron, India Gailey, Tim Crofts, Glenn Patshca, Nick Halley and Nick D’Amato. Her upcoming project ‘Living Things’ will experiment with collected sounds and reflections from the natural world interpreted by local musician Nicholas D’Amato, Toronto musicians Doug Tielli and Nick Fraser and her mentor - Frank Gratkowski.

About Frank Gratkowski

  • Born in Hamburg, 1963.
  • Started playing the saxophone at 16 and, following a period at the Hamburg Conservatory (Hamburger Musikhochschule), moved in 1985 to study at the Cologne Conservatory of Music with Heiner Wiberny, graduating in 1990.
  • Further studies with Charlie Mariano, Sal Nistico and Steve Lacy.

Frank Gratkowski has been working as a soloist in various international formations (Grubenklang Orchester, Klaus Koenig Orchester, Musikfabrik NRW, Tony Oxley Celebration Orchestra, Bentje Braam, BikBentBraam, All Ears, Zeitkratzer, WDR Big band, etc.). Since 1990 he has been giving solo performances throughout Europe, Canada and USA. With his first solo program, he was a 1991 prizewinner in the Musik Kreativ contest. The release of the solo CD “Artikulationen” followed the same year and a new one “Artikulationen II” in 2002.

Since 1992 he has been working in a duo with the pianist Georg Graewe (CD “VicissEtudes”). The duo is often extended through the participation of different additional musicians, such as drummer Paul Lovens (CD “Quicksand”) and bassist John Lindberg (CD “Arrears”).

In 1995 he founded the “Frank Gratkowski Trio” with Dieter Manderscheid (Germany), bass, and Gerry Hemingway (USA), drums, (CDs “Gestalten” and “The Flume Factor” ). In 2000 the trio has been extended to a quartetby Dutch trombonist Wolter Wierbos (CDs “Kollaps”, “Spectral Reflections”, “Facio” and “Le Vent et la Gorge”). Since 2003 also appearing as a Double Quartet plus Tobias Delius, Herb Robertson, Wilbert DeJoode and Michael Vatcher. In 2005 he got the SWR Jazzprize.

In 1999 the duo with the Italian trombonist Sebastiano Tramontana has been formed and since 2001 Frank Gratkowski has been performing with a trio including Wilbert De Jode (NL) on bass and Achim Kaufmann (D) on piano (CDs “Kwast” and “Unearth”). Since 2006 he’s working with the Trio Gratkowski / Brown / Winant (CDs “Wake” and “Vermilion Traces/Donaueschingen 2009”). He is also a co-leader / composer of the Multiple Joy[ce] Orchestra and got a commission to compose for the ensemble Apartment House by “November Music “ (Den Bosch NL) and the “Huddersfield Comtemporary Music Fesitival” (England) in 2009. Further actual projects are Fo[u]r Alto, a saxophone ensemble dedicated to microtonal music and “Artikulationen E” a solo program for saxophone with 8 channel live electronic.

Frank Gratkowski played on nearly every German and on numerous international Jazz and contemporary music Festivals including Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Quebec, Les Mans, Muelhuus, Groeningen, Nickelsdorf, Barcelona, Lithuania, Warsaw, Zagreb, Prague, Bratislava, Sofia, Bucharest, Odessa and Roma, Huddersfield, London.

He has been teaching saxophone and ensembles at the Cologne, Berlin and Arnhem Conservatory of Music and is giving workshops all around the world.

Furthermore he has performed with Robert Dick, Phil Wachsmann, Radu Malfatti, Herb Robertson, Marcio Mattos, Eugenio Colombo, Peter Kowald, Ray Anderson, Michael Moore, Ken Vandermark, Greg Osby, Kenny Wheeler, Louis Sclavis, John Betsch, Jane Ira Bloom, Connie and Hannes Bauer, Xu Fengxia, James Newton, Muhal Richard Abrams, John Lindberg, Michael Formaneck, Ernst Reijseger, Fred van Hove, Theo Jörgensmann, Phil Minton, Peter Brötzmann, Mark Dresser, Mark Feldman, Hamid Drake, Michiel Braam, Han Bennink, Mal Waldron, Misha Mengelberg a.m.o