Johannes Wallmann

John and Carolyn Peterson Chair in Jazz Studies

Dr. Johannes Wallmann joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music as Director of Jazz Studies in the fall of 2012. A veteran of the New York and San Francisco Bay Area jazz scenes, he has performed extensively as a bandleader and as a sideman in local, national, and international venues.

Born in Germany, Wallmann was raised on Canada’s Vancouver Island, where he studied classical piano and guitar. Deciding to pursue a career in music, he moved first to Boston and then New York City, studying jazz piano and composition at Berklee College of Music (B.Mus., 1995) and at New York University (M.A., 1997; Ph.D., 2010), and winning numerous national music competitions and scholarships, as well as two Canada Council artist grants.

In New York and in the Bay Area, Wallmann established himself as a prolific performer in styles asdiverse as mainstream jazz and electric fusion, American spirituals, Cantonese pop music, and 20th century classical music. He has performed or recorded with many other artists, including the Dennis Mitcheltree Quartet, the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble, the American Music Group, jazz tubaists Howard Johnson and Marcus Rojas, drummers Jeff Hirshfield, Danny Gottlieb, Tim Horner, Terry Clarke and Donald Bailey, bassists Jeff Andrews, Sean Conly and Martin Wind, saxophonists Gary Bartz, Seamus Blake, Pete Yellin and Phil Dwyer, trumpeters Ingrid Jensen and Ralph Alessi, trombonist Josh Roseman, guitarist Brad Shepik, operatic tenor Dr. Francois Clemmons, the Billings Symphony Orchestra, and Canto-pop star Faye Wong.

Wallmann’s groups have performed throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has released four critically acclaimed CDs, including The Johannes Wallmann Quartet (1997), Alphabeticity (2003), Minor Prophets (2007), which Cadence Magazine describes as a”glowing statement of rippling inventiveness.” His most recent CD, The Coasts (2010), features his Brasstet of Ralph Alessi, trumpet; Josh Roseman, trombone; Marcus Rojas, tuba; Sean Conly, bass; and Fred Kennedy, drums performing a program of all original compositions.

In 2007, Wallmann relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area to become Director of Jazz Studies at California State University East Bay, where he has taught jazz piano, composition, theory, and ensembles. At CSUEB, Wallmann introduced and developed comprehensive curricula for jazz theory and applied jazz, which had not been previously offered; revamped the jazz ensemble offerings to include six new small-group ensembles; established a series of workshops and masterclasses with visiting artists; and produced two CDs of student ensembles.

Prior to joining the CSUEB Music faculty in fall 2007, Wallmann taught jazz piano, improvisation and music theory at New York University and at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. In 2005, he was named “Music Teacher of the Year” by the students of New York University. In his spare time, Johannes Wallmann plays recreational ice hockey.


Johannes Wallmann
Associate Professor, Director of Jazz Studies
Office: 4451 Mosse Humanities Building