Born in New York, bassist Heiri Känzig has been a long-term player in the international scene.Already at age 21, he accompanied the great bebop trumpeter Art Farmer and since has played with innumerable illustrious colleagues in Europe and the USA.Känzig, who studied in Graz, Vienna and Zurich, has long ranked among Europe's best bassists.
He is a virtuoso technician whose sound comes to the fore in the widest range of contexts from jazz and improvisation to World Music. He has received international acclaim as the long-standing bassist of the Vienna Art Orchestra, with which he has played since 1978. In high demand as a freelancer, he has recorded over 180 CDs on established major labels like blue note , universal, verve, virgin a.o.
He has regularly toured worldwide with a variety of musicians and, most notably, has played with such musicians as John Scofield, Billy Cobham, Pierre Favre, Adam Nussbaum, Bob Mintzer, Charlie Mariano, Kenny Wheeler, NENA, Ralph Towner, Betty Carter, Art Farmer, Johnny Griffin, Andreas Vollenweider, Max Lässer, Daniel Humair, Christy Doran, Dominique Pifarely, Andreas Vollenweider,Gary Thomas, George Gruntz, Jerry Bergonzi, Mark Feldman, Didier Lockwood, Franco Ambrosetti, Glenn Ferris, Thierry Lang,Dieter Meier(Yello), David Linx, Richard Galliano und Billy Hart.
In the early 90s, Heiri Känzig formed his own quartet with Art Lande, Kenny Wheeler and François Laiszeau.Afterwards, he undertook projects with Kenny Wheeler, Charlie Mariano and Paul Mccandless before joining up as bassist with the Thierry Lang Trio, with whom he recorded six CD's for the american Label Blue Note .
Most recently, he has gained major recognition with the project "Tien Shan Schweiz Express", which blends musical elements from Central Asia, Mongolia and Switzerland.
Currently he is touring with his own band DEPART(Jojo Mayer/Harry Sokal) , Billy Hart/Charlie Miklin, Thierry Lang, Glenn Ferris, Lyoba, Jean Christoph Cholet Trio and is involved in a world music project with the Algerien Smahi Brothers and Billy Cobhan a.o.
He is also working on his new Project " TRAVELIN'" .
He performed at major festival all over the world. A.o. Montreux Jazzfestival, Toronto, Montreal, San Franciso, North Sea Festival, Rom , Paris Jazzfestival., Madrid , Barcelona, Berlin, Köln, Tokyo, Seoul, Molde...
Kunzler's Jazz Lexicon describes Heiri Känzig as an "insiders' tip musician, specialized in individualistic yet highly melodic lines"