“It's admirable within which accuracy and simultaneous emotional intensity Schmid (saxophone and clarinet) is able to conduct his instruments. Sometimes melancholic-quiet, sometimes explosive and hectic (including all shapes in between) he acts focused and strong [...]” (Andreas Keller - RP).
Born in 1984 half Icelandic half German Stefan Karl Schmid attended as a Fulbright scholar the master-performance-program at the Manhattan School of Music in New York and studied with David Liebman, Phil Markowitz, Donny McCaslin, John Riley and Steve Wilson. Besides many recordings as a sideman Stefan released his debut as a leader with his band exTENded on the renowned label Double Moon in 2012.
He received a Master of Music degree in Jazz-composition at the university of Cologne in 2010. Prior to this he graduated with distinction from Jazz-saxophone performance and music-pedagogy studies at the University of Nuernberg and was awarded a special prize for the best diploma. His mentors here were Klaus Graf, Frank Reinshagen, Steffen Schorn, Joachim Ullrich and Hubert Winter.
Stefan was a member of different Youth-Jazz-Orchestras, entered the Federal Jazz-Orchestra of Germany (BuJazzO) under the conduction of Peter Herbolzheimer, Bill Dobbins and Ed Partyka in 2006 and travelled to Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, France, Korea, Rumania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, the Ukraine and the USA. Among others he has worked with Michael Abene, Theo Bleckmann, Till Brönner, John Hollenbeck, Joe Lovano, Maceo Parker, Ack Van Rooyen, the HR and WDR Big Band.
Stefan received the 1st prize at the 'Jugend Jazzt' solo-competition in 2003. Furthermore he won the 1st prize at the 'Bruno-Rother-Gedaechtnisstipendium 2008' with the 'Stefan Schmid 4tet'. With the 'Orka Quartet' he is winner of the 'International Competition for Soloists and Ensembles' in Kerkrade (NL). In 2011 he was awarded for the best composition at the 'Européen Tremplin Jazz DAvignon Contest' in France. In 2013 Stefan received the jazzprize of the city of Cologne and the city of Worms and is the winner of the ‚BuJazzO composition contest’
Photos by Nadine Targiel
'[...] I also found Florian's Slow Motian a compelling listen as it featured the moodily glowing chalumeau clarinet of Stefan Schmid. [...] Schmid's purring clarinet swoons loftily over and understated cloak of muted brass outlining post 1980s harmonies extended over long and open phrasings. Sublime stuff.
- Sebastian Scotney, London Jazz (July 2013)
'[...] Michel Reis has truly found a congenial partner in Stefan Karl Schmid who's subtle shaded playing is full of nuances and sensitivity which leads him substentially through his intelligently build solos.'
- Benno Bartsch, Jazzpodium (March 2013)
'Drift King, the opening statement of the german-icelandic saxophonist Stefan Karl Schmid, could not be more beautiful [...]'
- Michael Rüsenberg (December 2011)
'[...] Among the soloists, my ear was caught by young German/Icelandic tenor saxophonist Stefan Karl Schmid. He plays a clean line, and from the evidence of a CD I was given, he is also a characterful and interesting composer. The CD is "Olaf Lind" on the Cologne Jazzhausmusik label. Schmid's compositions use two intertwining saxophone voices well, to creating surprising calm and space in unusual meters.'
- Sebastian Scotney, London Jazz (November 2011)
'Stefan is an excellent young saxophone player [...]. He has a beautiful sound and his outstanding technical abilities open up many possibilities [...].'
- Bob Mintzer (USC Los Angeles, 2008)