Willehad Grafenhorst

Willy Hart (Willehad Grafenhorst)

I was born on November 6, 1961 in the Catholic hospital in Essen / OL. I spent my youth on my parents’ estate in Bunnen, a village of 1,000 inhabitants in the Oldenburg Münsterland, known for its record-breakingly large pig population. From the age of 10, I enjoyed classical piano training. During puberty, after a brief interlude as a trumpet player in the village brass band (known from radio and television), I discovered the fascination of modern jazz and rock music. By chance, I came across an electric bass, and spent my afternoons playing my instrument to the free jazz and rock records that were popular at the time, because of course there weren’t enough stylish musicians within a 50-kilometer radius in this desolate area to put together a band.

This was to change when I began studying social sciences (1981) at the University of Oldenburg. I soon met Lars Rudolph, Wigald Boning and Jim Meneses, who was stranded in Germany on a tour with David Moss, and founded the noise rock band “KIXX” (LP “The hidden Lover” – ITM Records). In 1988, after I had moved to Bremen, I formed the Schlager-Trash band “Boning Hart und die Deep Emotions” in collaboration with Wigald Boning, later “Bremen” (LP/CD “Bremen” – Polydor). At the same time, I became a member of the rock band “Babbitts” (LP “In Outer Space” / CD “Suspicious”), played in the avant-garde rock trio “Die Boxer” (with Lars Rudolph and Ulrik Spies), finished my studies, was the producer of the slut band “Die Mädchen”, later also performed with the jazz revue “Acapulco” (with Mark Scheibe, Michael Gross), and have been the bassist of “Swim Two Birds” since 1990 (CDs “Not Serious”, “Apsion”, “The Bloody Thumb Cookbook”, “Sweet Relief”, “CountDown”) by the composer and saxophonist Achim Gätjen, have lived in Berlin since 1996, played with the hip-hop band “Zentrifugal” in 1999/2001, and have been working increasingly in the field of improvised and new music since 2001 (including with Olaf Rupp, Fine Kwiatkowski, Thomas Wiedermann, Reinhart Hammerschmidt…).




Swim Two Birds "The Beginning" left to right Peter Apel, Willy Hart, Ralf Benesch, Achim Gaetjen

“The Beginning”, from left to right: Peter Apel; Willehad Grafenhorst; Ralf Benesch; Achim Gaetjen, Foto by Achim Gaetjen © 1991