Esther Kaiser

Esther Kaiser (vocalist, composer)

Esther Kaiser homepage

Esther Kaiser, Professor @ University: Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber, Dresden, Germany

“Esther Kaiser’s artistry lies in her ability to make something grave sound light and playful.” (Nürnberger Nachrichten)

“As soon as she enters the stage, the sun comes up. Vocalist Esther Kaiser has the kind of charisma that can brighten gloomy days.” 
(Hessische Niedersächsische Allgemeine Zeitung)

Esther Kaiser, born in Freiburg i. Br. (Germany) in 1975, has been one of the country’s most versatile and genre-bending representatives of contemporary German vocal jazz for several years. As a recording artist, jazz professor and live performer who is involved in a variety of projects, she constantly seeks to merge jazz and improvisation with different musical styles.


From 1996-2001 Esther Kaiser studied with Jiggs Whigham and Judy Niemack (among others) at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin, where she already began to make a name for herself as a founding member of vocal group BERLIN VOICES who have collaborated repeatedly with the big band of the Hessische Rundfunk (Hessian Radio Broadcasting), including tours overseas and CD recordings.

From 1998-2000, Esther Kaiser was a member of the BuJazzO (National Youth Big Band) conducted by Peter Herbolzheimer.


In 2004, Esther Kaiser debuted with her album “Jazz Poems” (Double Moon Records) as the first artist to be featured in the renowned “Next Generation” series published in the “Jazzthing” magazine.

Her second CD, “The Moment We Met” (Minor Music) was released in 2006, followed by “Cosy in Bed” (GLM) in 2009.
These three albums set the tone for a characteristically idiosyncratic treatment of instrumentals as well as pieces from classical works and popular music in addition to original songs and lyrics, especially on “Cosy in Bed”. Many live concerts and tours throughout Germany and overseas have followed since, including a South East Asia tour in 2005 and a performance at the International Jazz Festival Ankara in 2006.

Since 2011, Esther Kaiser has also been a member of “chamber jazz” duo *STERNKLAR (joined by Berlin-based pianist Claus-Dieter Bandorf), which is dedicated to giving traditional German folk songs a modern twist encompassing jazz and pop. The self-titled album “*sternklar” was released in May 2012 on the HGBS (formerly MPS) label.

„Learning how to listen – the music of Abbey Lincoln“ (GLM, 2015)

Esther Kaiser sees herself as a singer of jazz songs and a storyteller.
This philosophy connects her deeply to jazz vocalist and composer Abbey Lincoln, who inspired Esther Kaiser to finally dedicate a full album to her “spiritual sister” after being immersed in a multitude of projects as a songwriter and lyricist.
The album “Learning How To Listen – the Music of Abbey Lincoln” (to be released in January 2015) was deemed as a grant-worthy studio project by RBB (Berlin-Brandenburg

Radio Broadcasting) jazz authority Ulf Drechsel. It was subsequently recorded and produced by the RBB.

Songs of Courage (GLM, 2018)

In this cross-border project Esther Kaiser combines worlds, with the goal to find a common musical language for the topics of our time. Jazz sounds meet oriental sounds, Berlin jazz musicians meet refugees from Syria and Iraq. This new collective sound also deliberately wants to disturb at some points – when, for example, in Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” suddenly the oriental Kanun sounds – then the song and its contents are moved automatically and painfully close to the current political situation.

Water (GLM, 2022)

On this new album, Kaiser and her high class band recorded only original compositions all related to the element WATER, most of them written by Esther Kaiser and Tino Derado. The berlin based vocalist is experimenting with synthesizer, oboe and strings in a jazz context and even water based sounds like glass harp. Her clear and poetic lyrics focus on different aspects on the title „WATER“. They tell about current issues like ecological topics, the salinization of drinking water and the vanishing of rivers.


Since 2012 Esther Kaiser is a voice professor for vocal jazz at „Musikhochschule Carl Maria von Weber“ in Dresden, Germany and is giving vocal clinics all over the country as well as abroad.


„ Jazz Poems“, 2004 (Double Moon Records)
„The moment we met“, 2006 (Minor Music)
„Berlin Voices – States of Mind“, 2007 (VanDyckRecords)
„Cosy in Bed“, 2009 (GLM/ Fine Music)
„Berlin Voices – About Christmas“, 2010 (Hännsler Classic)
„*sternklar“ – Deutsche Volkslieder, 2012 (HGBS)
„Learning how to listen – the music of Abbey Lincoln“, 2015 (GLM/ Fine Music) „Songs of Courage“, 2018 (GLM/ Fine Music)
„Water“, 2022 (GLM/ Fine Music)