Hamburg, the 13th of November, 2018
Wolfgang Schlüter, one of the premier representatives of his generation in the realm of European Jazz, passed away yesterday on the 12th of November, 2018, at the age of 85. Completely unexpectedly, and at the moment busily involved with concluding the final touches for a new project together with his quartet and string ensembles, he succumbed to the aftereffects of a stroke. With heartfelt grief and the greatest respect, we look back on a career as vibraphonist that endured for 65 years. A career distinguished by his versatile, variegated solo work playing in the orchestras of renowned bandleaders such as Kurt Edelhagen, Erwin Lehn, Werner Müller, Paul Kuhn or James Last. In 2013 he received the ECHO JAZZ award for a joint project together with the NDR Bigband, a formation which had acted as a musical home for him for many years. As recently as last year he was awarded the “Hamburger Jazzpreis” for his lifetime achievements. His work as a member of the Michael Naura Quintet, later on together with Naura and lyric poet Peter Rühmkorf, is among the musical events that most distinctly characterized post-war Jazz in Germany. Although marked by a series of misfortunes that directly affected his health and family, he continued to give moving, highly acclaimed concerts and had forged major plans for his music in 2019. He lived faithful to the motto penned by Peter Rühmkorf, “Remain shakeable to the roots and resist.”
Wolfgang Schlüter is survived by two children and grandchildren along with the woman he called his partner in life.
Our sorrow knows no bounds.