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Mellow Melange – What’s that?


„Mellow Melange – what’s that?“ the magazine PRINZ is asking and answers: „definitely most beautiful!“ But why? “This voice of Sonja Firker….absolutely matching the music”, PRINZ says. Sonja has a great voice, that is right, but what is she singing? A mixture, a melange. “A perfect fusion of pop and chamber music, jazz and classic, soul and folk”, continues PRINZ. A mixture in which the musical elements melt and react. Many titles sound like good pop music: strong melodies, catchy hooklines and choruses, wide swinging harmony arcs and modern grooves. Music directly aiming at the listener’s heart and emotions. One can listen, forget everything and revel in emotions. Mellow Melange is never getting on our nerves but is always radiating a soft and relaxed mood.

But there are more levels: the music by Mellow Melange also is chamber music. Definitely the instrumentals. Here is thematic work to find, polyphonic voicing, surprising modulations and a very dense structure, which easily makes it possible to play these titles as a string quartet or in bigger orchestral settings. In the songs you can also detect details and hidden beauties which sometimes reveal themselves only after listening closely a second or third time: counterpoint hooklines which develop to song lines, second or third voices with thematical characters, polished choir and string quartet settings and much more.

And Mellow Melange is jazz. One proof is the piano playing by Michael Berger. Additionally there is an exciting, energetic friction in Matthias Schinkopf’s tenor or soprano saxophone fills and those classic and folk motivated violin duets by Ingo Höricht and singer Sonja Firker, whose front voice sometimes builds up a beautiful contrast to the excellent voice of bass man David Jehn. And, last but not least, Matthias Schinkopf is also a fantastic percussion player who is weaving a grooving, rhythmical layer with cajon, conga, bongo and many more percussion instruments on which the melody lines can unfold.

One of the specialities of Mellow Melange are soft pieces with hit character, bitter sweet ballads in a cloudy minor and full of melancholy, tasting like sweet, sinful mocca. But the ensemble also presents more and different moods, sometimes cheerful, often high-spirited.


Mellow Melange - New Acoustic Music 

Sonja Firker: vocals, violin

Michael Berger: piano

Ingo Höricht: violin, viola, composition

David Jehn: double-bass, vocals, composition

Matthias Schinkopf: saxophone, clarinet, traverse flute, percussion 

For many years now Mellow Melange has been playing acoustic music beyond all styles in an unusual orchestration (2 violins, viola, saxophone, clarinet, traverse flute, piano, double-bass, drums and a lot of vocals). The band performs exclusively their own material.

With different programs Mellow Melange plays on classic and jazz festivals as well as in clubs, open air, in huge halls and many other places. Mellow Melange successfully toured through Germany as pre-group for ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman & the Rhythm Kings.

All members of Mellow Melange also do solo-projects in other formations from string quartets and new music bands up to all Jazz variations, Salsa, Folk, Swing and Blues and even some Drum’n’Bass.

All these influences and backgrounds are melted to the absolutely unique and uncomparable style, which is a real genuine - mellow melange, of course!

Yet this music is too spontaneous and improvisational to be chamber music, too polyphonic and complex in its harmonies to be mere pop music and too much classical inspired to be jazz.

Sonja Firker: vocals, violin

Sonja is not just a singer but plays several musical instruments (violin, viola, recorder, harp) and  represents YAMAHA electronic violins. Already during her schooldays she studied violin in the masterclass of Isabella Petrosjan at Music Conservatory Hamburg. Later she studied musical sciences at the Humboldt University Berlin as well as Pop- and Jazzvocals in Berlin and Hamburg. She plays and sings in bands of different styles, took leading roles in several stage productions of musical kinds and works as live- and recording artist with many famous musicians (The Temptations, Seal, Meat Loaf, Sweetbox, Rod Stewart). 

Michael Berger: piano

Michael has been playing the piano for an unbelievable long time. It is amazing to watch him play but as incredible are his life-lines as a musical companion of Evelyn Gramel, BoomBoom,

Maria de Fatima, Uli Beckerhoff, Eberhard Weber, Paul McCandless, Freeport, Tsahara, John Taylor, Christine Mueller, Serge Weber and John Abercrombie.

Michael has worked for several medias, for LPs, CDs, festivals, radio programs, TV and his range goes from avantgarde unto underground - but always it is jazz, for black and white is only the colour of the keys he plays. Michael toured many European countries and in cooperation with avantgarde composer Joelle Leandre he also played in classical festivals in Metz, Marseille and Paris.

Ingo Höricht: composition, violin, viola, guitar

Ingo studied violin with Maria Grevesmühl and Wolfram Koenig and he attended master-courses by Joshua Epstein, Valery Klimov and Max Rostal.

For ten years he played and composed for the folk-jazz formation "Kolibri" including record- and radio- productions. For five years he was first violinist of the "Camerata Instrumentale".

As a solist and chamber-musician (among others with the "Lamberti String Quartet")

he often is heard in classical concerts. His compositions and productions on all fields of pop, jazz, chanson, musical, film music and chamber music have been released on lots of LPs and CDs (a.o. on the EMI-label). Some of his works also were published as sheet music.

And last but not least Ingo is the composer of almost all titles played by Mellow Melange.


David Jehn: double-bass, vocals, composition

From time to time the Mellow Melange Trio expands to a quartet with David Jehn (counter-bass & vocal). He brings additional warmths and depth to the sound and his singing is praised to set a fine contrast to the distinctive voice of lead Sonja Firker. Jehn had educations by Rufus Reid, Ron McClure and Sigi Busch. Internationally he did converts with the Uli Beckerhoff Group, Alex Gunia's Groove Cut, Barry Ryan and others. 

Besides David Jehn works as a teacher for E-bass and counter-bass at the High School for Music in Bremen. He also writes and arranges music for movies and radio plays and was honoured with the "Terre des Hommes Award" for "Assar's Adventure".

For the chrildrens-CD "What does a mouse do in summer?" he was awarded with the higly recommended "Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik". He was published on cooperations with Ethno Formation Leyli, Nagara, Christian Mueller, No Mercy, The Kingfish, Maria de Fatima, Dave Goodman; releasing several albums on his own.

Since 2003 also working as a theater musician for the Goethe-Theater Bremen, a. o. with Gabriela Maria Schmeide.

Matthias Schinkopf: saxophone, clarinet, traverse flute, percussion

Matthias Schinkopf studied classical saxophone in Bremen and jazz-rock-pop-saxophone in Hannover. He plays the polyphonic attitude with phrasing and diction of chamber music, but on the other hand he can bring an audience into boiling heat and get spontaneous cheers. There is a special electricity rising when his jazzy splinters of tenor or soprano saxophone come across with that mainly classical motivated or sometimes folkloristical violin duetting of Hoericht and singer Sonja Firker.  Time and again Schinkopf also is heard as a percussionist, even when just one hand or one foot being vacant to get the music groove some more by little means. He had performances with big names like Joe Cocker, Bill Ramsey or Peter Petrel.


Ingo Höricht

Holbeinstr. 17

D 28209 Bremen

Tel.: +49 421 679051 

Mobil: 0049 170 5431541



Letzte Aktualisierung:
Oktober 2023

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