Chris Kramer is a german blues musician, gifted blues harp player and singer/songwriter from Dortmund, Germany. As a three times winner of the “German Blues Award” (category blues harp 2010, 2012, 2014), his slick harp playing is considered his trademark although Chris also plays guitar and dobro on stage. Chris Kramer’s vinyl record “Chicago Blues” was also honoured “best album” with the “German Blues Award 2014”.
Born in 1970, his first blues harp lessons were taught by his father, leading through the years to a solid career as a professional musician. Chris Kramer played in several bands, but also performed as a solo artist constantly. Nowadays he is regarded as one of the most important blues harp players in Europe, gaining recognition by his boyhood idols like Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith (both of Muddy Waters Band), who recorded with him. The complete list of artists who joined Chris Kramer in the recording studio appears like a “who-is-who” of rock history: Long John Baldry, Bob Stroger, Jack Bruce, Mel Gaynor (Simple Minds), Colin Hodgkinson, Pete York and many others. He assembled Mick Taylor and Chuck Leavell, both “Rolling Stones” in different periods, for the first time on his 2009 album “Unterwegs” (transl. “on the road”), and piano player Chuck Leavell said about Chris, “Oh man, what an amazing harp player!”. “Cream” bass player Jack Bruce called him “Master of the blues harp”. German superstar Peter Maffay (considered as the “german Bruce Springsteen”) booked him for studio jobs and huge stadium tours several times.
Caring for the encouragement of young talents, Chris wrote four educational books about learning blues harp. He is also successful as a harp teacher with tutorial workshops all over Germany. His latest project to promote handmade music is a musical for children and families called “The little harmonica”, trying to awake children’s enthusiasm for the blues and its following musical styles. The story of “The little harmonica” is also published as an audiobook and an 86-pages-storybook, teaching not only about music but also about tolerance, respect and human co-existence.
As an expert for blues music, Chris Kramer is asked and booked by german major TV stations, for example like WDR for a complete one-hour-show called “Planet Wissen” to talk about the blues and his journey to America on his quest for the roots of the blues.
Chris Kramer’s latest project to create a connection between the blues and younger generations is a crossover trio called “Beatbox ‘n’ Blues”. With a beatbox borrowed from hip hop instead of a drumset and performed by german beatbox champion Kevin O Neal, Kramer invented a fresh new sound with his blues harp and the guitar of the young talented string artist Sean Athens. The dedication and innovation of performance of the three artists led to the winning of the “2016 German Blues Challenge” in Eutin (Northern Germany) and the right to participate at the “2017 International Blues Challenge” at Beale Street, Memphis/Tennessee, USA.
Chris Kramer and the blues – they both influenced and changed each other and both are benefitting by leaving their traces on each other…
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