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""Janke is truly among the good ones...""
(JAZZPAGES, March 2010)
Polish-born drummer and percussionist Bodek Janke has been dubbed "above-average", "outstanding" and "a master of many dialects" by international journalists in various musical situations.
Being born into a polish-russian musicians' family, it was obvious for him to approach a professional musical career from an early age. His mother Olga Janke taught him first piano lessons at the age of 3 and his aunt, Tatyana Kamysheva taught him composition and music theory.
At the Badisches Konservatorium Karlsruhe / Germany he received his classical percussion and music theory education. In his teenage years, Bodek was already an internationally acclaimed touring and recording marimbaphone virtuoso.
From 1998 to 2004 he studied jazz-drums and jazz-composition at the Academy of Music of Cologne and graduated "with distinction". He completed his studies in 2007 with a "Master of Arts and Music Performance" - diploma from the City College of New York.
During his 6-year long stay (2004-2010) in New York City he had the opportunity to work with various artists such as David Liebman, Billy Harper, Ben Monder and Dave Binney. He performed several times at Carnegie Hall where recently his arrangement of "Wings", a composition by Samir Chatterjee, was premiered by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra before Anoushka Shankar's performance.
Regular engagements at local jazzclubs and venues (Iridium, Smalls, The Knitting Factory, 55 Bar) and international tours (the US, Turkey, Kasakhstan, Germany, Greece, France, Spain, Poland, Morocco and Russia amongst others) were a long lasting source and inspiration for his music and work.
Furthermore he met his Guru (mentor), Pandit Samir Chatterjee and began his studies of Indian Classical Music and Tabla in New York.
Since 2010 Bodek Janke has moved back to Germany, working regularly with the WDR, NDR and HR Radio Bigbands (as a drummer and percussionist), with saxophonist Steffen Schorn, pianist and vocalist Olivia Trummer, trumpeter Matthias Schriefl and pianist Kristjan Randalu.
Internationally he has been working with the US jazz violinist Jeremy Kittel (Turtle Island String Quartet), the israeli guitarist Gilad Hekselman (Ari Hoenig Quartet), the Parisian harmonica player Olivier Ker Ourio and the Moscow State Jazz Orchestra, just to name a few.
Besides appearances on jazz festivals (i.e. Moers Jazz, Izmir Caz Festivali, Jazzycolors Paris, Jazz Au Chellah Rabat, Jazz from A to Z Almaty, Jazzopen Stuttgart) and concert engagements at The Kennedy Center (Washington DC), the Philharmonics of Cologne, Essen, Warsaw und Almaty, Janke performed several times at Schloss Elmau and recorded music for labels such as Universal, Melodia, Jazz´n´Arts, Peregrina and Neuklang.
In 2008 he was awarded both the "Jazzpreis Baden-Württemberg", Germany's highest-endowed award for jazz musicians and the "German Records Critics' Award" ("Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik", with Olivia Trummer's CD "Westwind").
In 2010 he was voted "Best Soloist of the Year" at the "Neuer Deutscher Jazzpreis" - competition in Mannheim and he won the the first prize at the "4th International Bucharest Jazz Competition". This year he also became scholarship holder of the Baden-Württemberg Arts Foundation, the "Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg".
Currently the intensely touring musician is focusing on recording his second own album "Global Dance Kulture", teaching workshops and masterclasses and establishing a cultural center and educational institution in the mountain region of Lower Silesia (Karkonosze).