Stefan Kaempfert was nine when his grandfather Bert Kaempfert gave him his first trumpet and from that day they played together, the great composer and orchestra leader proudly helping his grandson with his first musical steps. Three decades later, Stefan is returning that love by taking Bert Kaempfert’s timeless music on tour.
Stefan was born on January 10th, 1966 in Hamburg. His mother, Marion, studied music and his book publisher father, Klaus Haake, became Bert’s personal assistant and collaborator. The young family followed Bert and his wife, Hanne to Zug in Switzerland where Stefan’s happy childhood was surrounded with the music of Basie, Sinatra, Herb Alpert, Miriam Makeba and Quincy Jones. With his grandfather’s encouragement, Stefan learned what lay behind a great composition and arrangement, how to create a mood through different blending of sounds.
That trumpet led him to play in the local jazz and big bands and to study under Bert’s lead trumpeters, Werner Gutterer and later, Ack van Rooyen, who introduced him to the subtle sounds of the flugelhorn. Stefan was enthralled. Not yet in his teens, he found himself in the middle of it all – be it in the recording studio or travelling with the orchestra to concerts, including the Royal Albert Hall.
Bert’s unexpected death in 1980 at only 56 shattered Stefan but Bert’s musical family embraced his young grandson and nurtured his talents. Determined to honour his grandfather’s legacy, he moved to Holland and studied at the famous Hilversum Conservatory under Ack van Rooyen with fellow students, Roger Cicero and Joja Wendt.
In his late twenties, Stefan started a family and for a while, economic pressures led him away from music but he could never put down the trumpet completely. In 2006, Bert’s former bass trombonist, the now higly acclaimed band leader, Peter Herbolzheimer recognised Stefan’s ability and invited him to play in his band. The jazz genius, whose music Stefan had absorbed as a small child, became his musical mentor. It was this that inspired Stefan’s mother, the music producer, Marion Kaempfert, and her husband, the jazz trumpeter and composer, Allan Botschinsky, to invite Stefan to become the exclusive interpreter of the Bert Kaempfert arrangements which Marion owns.
After careful planning, Stefan was in London’s Angel Studios to record his debut album with an orchestra of Britain’s finest musicians, including Bert’s former lead trumpeter and friend, Tony Fisher. Over several weeks, under the production of Marion and Allan, they completed a superb new collection of Kaempfert recordings and a showcase video with the London Dancers that sets the benchmark for the new wave of easy listening artists.
Stefan Kaempfert, his orchestra and the London Dancers look forward to bringing his grandfather’s legacy to a whole new worldwide audience.