Berlin Mallet Group

David Friedman : vibraphone, composer
Julius Heise : marimba, composer
Hauke Renken : marimba, vibraphone
Raphael Meinhart : marimba
Taiko Saito : marimba, arranger, composer



♫ 🎧  Komodo no komodo

🎶📻 Scharfenberg



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One of the most imaginative and unique albums

New York Music Daily, Alan


Anyone who has ever appreciated the distinctive ethereal other-worldly sound of a marimba or vibraphone in a group will find that the combined effect of four or five working together is even more beguiling. The idea of creating such a group was inspired. The music produced by the group is uniquely beautiful and should not be missed.

-John Eyles, All About Jazz-  



Berlin Mallet Group is the only improvising mallet ensemble of its kind. The members are former students of David Friedman who have since become consummate vibraphonists and marimbists and artists in their own musical sections. They all perform, compose and teach. The ensemble plays compositions by David Friedman and Taiko Saito, as well as performing spontaneous compositions created in the moment.

Each player brings his and her own artistic personality, as well as an advanced team spirit to the group. The combined cultural identity also plays an important role in the eclectic sound of the compositions and improvisations. The players represent Japan, USA, Germany and Austria. Thus the ensemble is both diverse, and at the same time speaking one musical language, since everyone studied with David Friedman. The result is a smooth and immediate communication within the ensemble, spiced up by the different musical backgrounds involved.

David Friedman is considered to be one of the most influential vibraphonists in the history of the instrument. Internationally renowned as a vibraphonist, marimbist, composer and jazz educator, he has his own musical message, born of fascinatingly diverse musical influences. Having worked with such varied musical personalities as Leonard Bernstein, Luciano Berio, Bobby McFerrin, Wayne Shorter, Chet Baker and Yoko Ono, few jazz musicians can claim as broad a spectrum of performing and recording experience. A dedicated and renowned educator, David Friedman founded the jazz program at Berlin’s University of the Arts and served as its head for sixteen years. All players met at that program.

The current project is a memorial to another of David’s students, Rupert Stamm. The ensemble features some of his compositions for mallet ensemble.








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