Mr. Goetze is an award-winning composer, musician and filmmaker. His compositions won international prizes and premiered at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Blue Note, Gasteig Munich, Sunset Paris, Jazzhouse Copenhagen to name a few. Traveling around the world gave him the opportunity to study indigenous music and to initiate multi-disciplinary cross-cultural projects. The Griot, a feature documentary on the oral music tradition in West-Africa, is Volker Goetze’s debut as a film director.
His most recent CD was nominated for best traditional song at the 9th Annual Independent Music Awards: a duo project with West African griot Ablaye Cissoko, who sings and plays the 21-string kora, a cross between a harp and a lute. Their CD “Sira” received raving international reviews and topped no. 2 in the CMJ world music charts just behind Buena Vista Social Club. Part of the artist’s profit goes to TOSTAN, a human-rights organization in West Africa. A new album was recorded in an ancient wooden church in Paris and will be released in Spring 2011.
Mr. Goetze studied with famous trumpeter Markus Stockhausen at the Hochschule für Musik Köln. He received a full-scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD) to continue his studies under Michael Mossman at the Aaron Copland School of Music in New York, followed by a fellowship from BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) to study composition with Jim McNeely and Michael Abene.
In 2010 The New York Foundation of the Arts honored Volker Goetze their prestigious opportunity grant to attend the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute at Columbia University. A workshop designed for Jazz Composers to gain hands-on experience to write for Symphony Orchestra: an exceptional juncture of leading composers, conductors and performers of our times, sharing their knowledge and insight in music composition and practices.
The New York Council on the Arts awarded Mr. Goetze two individual artist grants to complete his debut film The Griot as well as to create and present an interactive multi-media Symphony recounting the mythical creation story of the African harp-lute: the kora.