A gifted German-born saxophonist, Tobias Meinhart plays harmonically sophisticated post-bop jazz. He first garnered attention performing in Europe in the mid-2000s, and gained wider recognition following his move to New York in 2010.
He has played often with trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, with whom he recorded 2015's Natural Perception and 2017's Silent Dreamer.
Born in 1983 in Regensburg, Germany Meinhart grew up in the small Bavarian village of Wörth an der Donau, where he was influenced by his grandfather, a classically trained bassist who played in U.S. Army clubs after World War II. Around age seven, he started playing the drums, and by age 13 had switched to the saxophone. After high school, he attended the Music College in Basel, studying with saxophonist Domenic Landolf. From there, he further honed his skills studying at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam and the Berne College of Art. Drawing upon artists like Carla Bley, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, and Stan Getz, Meinhart began leading his own group called Fourscore, and in 2008 released his debut album, Add to Friends.
In 2010, Meinhart relocated to New York City. There he completed his master's degree in jazz performance at Queens College in 2012. He also issued his sophomore album with his quartet, 2011's Pursuit of Happiness. In Between, an album recorded on a return trip to Germany, appeared in 2014. The saxophonist also found work playing with pianist Aaron Goldberg and toured with trumpeter Ingrid Jensen. His fourth album, Natural Perception, arrived on Enja in 2015, and featured Jensen along with pianist Yago Vazquez, bassist Phil Donkin, and drummer Jesse Simpson. The following year, he picked up a German Echo Award Nomination for Newcomer of the Year. Meinhart assembled the same group with Jensen for 2017's Silent Dreamer. In 2019, he paired with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and several of his longtime German associates, including pianist Ludwig Hornung, bassist Tom Berkmann, and drummer Mathias Ruppnig for Berlin People. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi