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Lucas Niggli - drums/percussion


Lucas NiggliLucas Niggli

Lucas Niggli was born in a thunderbolt in 1968, West Kamerun. He lived there before he moved to Switzerland. Today he lives in Uster with his three children, Felix, Gaudenz and Emilia and his partner Annette Meier.
Here you may read a portrait by Andreas Felber ( in german).

His affinity to Music, especially to percussion instruments, was quite strong at a very young age. Between 1987 and 1995, he played at the experimental New Jazz formation «Kieloor Entartet». The group published three CDs, conquered many stages in diverse countries, formed a not every day orchestra, «ENAO91 and ENAO93», and connected to other artists and composers. After that, Lucas Niggli took charge of the management of the alternative Swiss label «UNIT-Records» until 1998; he was the president of the Swiss Professional Association of Jazz and Improvisation Musicians, SMS, and a long member of the board of the WIM (werkstatt für improvisierte Musik Zurich).

Working BandsWorking Bands

In 1995 he founded the avant-core band «Steamboat Switzerland» with Dominik Blum and Marino Pliakas. More than 150 concerts, 4 cd and 2 vinyl recordings testify to the group’s intense and hard work. «Lucas Niggli’s Zoom» was founded in 1999 (with Nils Wogram And Philipp Schaufelberger) They performed at all of Europe’s big festivals, (Moers, Saalfelden, Willisau, Le Mans) as well n Vancouver and they recorded a first cd in 2001 followed by a CD in 2003. As an extension of this trio, Lucas Niggli created «Big Zoom», a quintet with Claudio Puntin and Peter Herbert as guests, with two releases (Big Ball, Sweat). Since 2002 he plays regularly in the Piano Trio with Jacques Demierre and Barry Guy. Since 1994 Lucas Niggli has played in a variety of different bands with Pierre Favre as his partner. These are, amongst others, «Singing Drums», «European Chamber Ensemble», «The Drummers», as well as a duo.Since 2006 he is composing for and performing with the international Drum Quartet Beat Bag Bohemia  (with Kesivan Naidoo (SA), RolandoLamussene (MZ), and Peter Conradin Zumthor (CH). The Duo Black Lotos with chinese Guzheng Player Xu Fengxia is also a long lasting working band, like the Drum Duo Lucas Niggli and Peter Conradin Zumthor. Since 2011 the Trio Biondini - Godard - Niggli with Luciano Biondini and Michel Godard tours extensivly in Europe with two CD Productions for Intakt Records. Since 2013 regulary also in Projects with the Drum Trio Klick with Fritz Hauser and P.C.Zumthor and in a Duo with Swiss Singer Andreas Schaerer.

Other WorldOther World

Lucas Niggli was always musically active. He toured through all of Europe with different musicians, played on stages in Russia and America, Egypt and Canada, China and Southafria, Taiwan and m.o. He performed on major Jazz festivals in Vancouver, Berlin, Moers, Saalfelden, Willisau, Rome, Nürnberg, Capetown, Le Mans, Münster and Zurich. And New Music Festivals like Huddersfield (UK), Donaueschingen ( D) , Ultima (N), MaerzMusik (D). He is always being tempted into different corners of the music business. If he doesn’t perform a contemporary piece by David Dramm, Michael Werthmüller, Felix Profos, Sam Hayden, Kagel, Polanski, Cage, or Rzewski; he will regularly improvise in the Zurich «Werkstatt für Improvisierte Musik.» And he plaied in several Bands from Swiss Singer Erika Stucky, like "Bubble and Bangs".

In Best MemoriesIn Best Memories

In his bands and projects, Lucas Niggli had the chance to work hand in hand with musicians from all over the world, from all kinds of different scenes. People like Barry Guy, John Cale, Pierre Favre, Butch Morris, Trevor Watts, Fred Frith, Hans Koch, Peter Kowald, Peter Waters, Samul Nori, Tom Cora, Ikue Mori, Tenko, Michel Doneda, Michel Wintsch, Collegium Novum, Urs Leimgruber, Arkadij Shilklopper, Jean-Luis Matinier, Martin Schütz, Irene Schweizer, Susanne Abbuehl, Wu Wei, Phil Minton, the filmmaker Peter Mettler , Susanne Abbuehl, Erika Stucky, ARTE Quartet, Andrew Cyrille, Andreas Schaerer, Tim Berne and many more.

Archive BiographyArchive Biography
Anyone who would like to know more should check out the Archive Biography on this website.


Kieloor Entartet «No More Beer», Ex Libris 1990
Kieloor Entartet, «A Good Dog Has A Day...», UNIT Records 1992
Kieloor Entartet, «The Red Light Fugue», UNIT Records 1995
Hoffmann-Niggli-Percussion, «Drumscapes & Mute Songs», Creative Works, 1993
Sainkho Namtchylak, «Letters», Leo Records, 1993
Michael Gassmann Quartett, «Live», UNIT Records, 1993
Scholl-Erismann-Niggli-Frith-Koch-Kowald, «NIL», UNIT Records, 1996
Roots Of Communication, «Pro Helvetia», UNIT Records, 1996
Roots Of Communication with Erika Stucky, "Wunderland", RMslabel, 2000
Acoustic Stories, Rahel Hadorn, Live At Moods, Red Note, 1997
Pierre Favres Singing Drums, intakt, 1997
Steamboat Switzerland, «live» UNIT Records, 1998
Roots Of Communication, Al Valico dei Secoli, Esperia, 1998
Lucas Niggli &Sylvie Courvoisier, «LAVIN», intakt records, 1999.
Border Meetings, «Pedretti-Grichting-Schütz-Niggli», Altri Suoni, 2000
Pierre Favre, European Chamber Ensemble, intakt records, 2000
Steamboat Switzerland, «Budapest», GROB 315, 2001
Steamboat Switzerland, «ac/dB [hayden]», GROB 316, 2001
Steamboat Switzerland, «unknown song», Grob, 7», 2001
Lucas Nigglis ZOOM, «Spawn Of Speed» ,intakt records, CD 067, 2001
Lucas Niggli ZOOM, «Rough Ride», intakt records, CD 083, 2003
Lucas Niggli BIG ZOOM, «Big Ball», intakt Records, CD 084, 2004
Lucas Niggli ZOOM Ensemble, «SWEAT», intakt Records CD 093, 2004
Steamboat Switzerland, «werthmueller», Grob 2005
Demierre-Guy-Niggli, «Brainforest», Intakt Records CD 107, 2006
Susanne Abbuehl, "Compass", ECM Records, 2006,
Lucas Niggli Big Zoom, «Celebrate Diversity», Intakt Records CD118, 2006
Steamboat Switzerland, "ZONE2", GrobRecords, 2007
Lucas Niggli ZOOM meets ARTE Quartet, Crash  Cruise, Intakt CD130, 2007
Lucas Niggli DRUM Quartet, BEAT BAG BOHEMIA, Intakt CD 139, 2008
Fred Frith, Big Picture, Intakt CD 2009
Xu Fengxia - Lucas Niggli, BLACK LOTOS, Intakt CD, 2009
Barry Guy London Jazz Composers Orchestra feat. Irene Schweizer, Radio Rondo / Schaffhausen-Concert, Intakt CD 2010
Lucas Niggli / Peter Conradin Zumthor DRUM DUO, PROFOS, CD on Not Two Records, 2009
Felix Profos FORCEMAJEUR, Lingua Mortuorum, on ZHdK records. 2011
Lucas Niggli BIG ZOOM, POLISATION, INTAKT Records, 2011
Lucas Niggli Drum Quartett: BEAT BAG BOHEMIA  THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE DRUMS - a Film by Martin Fuchs, DVD, 2011
Biondini Godard Niggli  : What is There What is Not, Intakt Records CD, 2011
Lucas Niggli Peter Conradin Zumthor DRUM DUO, "Spiegel", CD on Edition Therme, Vals, 2011
Paul Plimeley - Barry Guy - Lucas Niggli, "Hexentrio", Intakt Records CD, 2012
Steamboat Switzerland, "Sederunt Principes", db_waves_records CD, 2013
Steamboat Switzerland, "Zeitschrei", trost records CD, 2013
Erika Stucky " Black Widow", Traumton CD, 2013
Sharp-Gibbs-Niggli, "Crossing the Waters", Intakt CD, 2013
Biondini - Godard - Niggli, "Mavî", Intakt Records, CD 2013
Andreas Schaerer - Lucas Niggli - Duo, "Try-Gly-Gly-Phe-Met", Jazzwerkstatt Records CD, 2013