Pablo Held (born 1986) grew up in a family of musicians. From early age on he was exposed to music from various backgrounds. At the age of 4 he took his first drumming lessons; at age 10 he moved on to the piano. With 18 he began studying with John Taylor and Hubert Nuss at the Conservatory in Cologne, where he graduated summa cum laude.
Pablo gained recognition with his own groups Pablo Held Trio and GLOW. He is also very active as a sideman in various projects in the European jazz scene.
He collaborated with the likes of John Scofield, Chris Potter, Dave Liebman, Tom Harrell, Till Brönner, Johannes Enders, Jochen Rückert, Uli Beckerhoff, WDR BigBand, NDR Bigband, Ignaz Dinné, Eric Vloeimans, Nicolas Thys, Dre Pallemaerts, Jasper Blom, Matthias Nadolny, Claudio Puntin, Claus Stötter, Manfred Schoof, Julian Argüelles, Kit Downes, Paul Heller, Henning Sieverts, Nils Wogram, John Schröder, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Ted Poor, Matthieu Michel, Domenic Landolf, Jason Seizer, Donny McCaslin...
He gave concerts in the USA, England, Ireland, Columbia, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Greece, Turkey, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, Austria and Luxemburg.
Pablo has appeared on over 20 records. His own CDs have been released on the German label Pirouet Records and gained worldwide praise in the music media.
Music and Glow were ‘CD of the Month’ in various magazines and music blogs.
Pablo was awarded the Westfalen Jazz Prize (2006), the WDR Jazz Prize (2011) and the Horst & Gretl Will Grand of the City of Cologne (2012).
In 2014 Pablo Held Trio receives the SWR Jazzprize.
"Held’s latest release, Lineage, his eighth for the Pirouet label, is another impressive field report from a restlessly creative artist with virtuosic skill. His playing seizes attention, with its unusual intervals and note choices, angular phrasing and organically probing search-and- rescue style of development." (Josef Woodard, Downbeat)
"Pablo Held, a formidable talented young man and his group have developed into leading exhibit to German jazz..." (Stuart Nicholson, Jazzwise)
"... this remarkable live recording duly documents a potent Euro-American alliance... Pristinely recorded at the Philharmonic Hall in Cologne, Germany, The Trio Meets John Scofield is a wonder to behold.... To coin a phrase, these intergenerational comrades should really go on meeting like this." (Josef Woodard, Downbeat)
"Held’s music concentrates on manipulating the waves of energy released by his trio as they twist into each other, move alongside one another, and tow each other across the channels. They truly move like brothers-at-arms. (...)Held’s trio displays crisp synchronized movements and a melodic timing that makes these tracks jump out at the listener. The trio’s incisions cross over each other and loop around one another with the proficient maneuvers of an acrobat team. This is where jazz music meets the visual arts, and Pablo Held shows a knack for making this transformation." (Susan Frances, Jazztimes)
„Held isn’t about art, he’s clearly about jazz, he just has his own unique vision of the future of it---and he will be shaping it.A tasty work that pushes limits with a reason, Held is well worth checking out if you want to hear a real statement from a real player.“ (Chris Spector, Midwest Record)
„His music is freely executed but somehow tethered to an accessible form, function and sound. This is music that remains focused but is, nonetheless, completely unpredictable.“ (Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz)
„He proves to be a brilliant sonic chemist, capable of mixing any instruments in balance, making it difficult on occasion to distinguish one instrument from the other, but easy to revel in the aural concoctions—whether stormy or sublime—of his creation.“ (Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz)
"Music" is the name of Held's new album, and the simple yet meaningful title expresses a self-confidence that Pablo Held has every right to possess. Completely without pretence, and playing with expressive ease, his trio relies completely on the music's inner strength. Music with its own sound and unique atmospheric mood." (Arnaldo Desouteiro, Jazz Station)
"The Cologne-based pianist Pablo Held is already seen as a hero of the young German jazz scene. His new album will earn him even more veneration." (Ssirus W. Pakzad, Der Musikmarkt)
"With his third album for the exceptional Pirouet label, the young pianist distinguishes himself above all as a composer overflowing with ideas." (Norbert Krampf, Frankfurt Journal)
„If you had around 15 bucks to spare and wanted to make a contribution to the advancement of the human race you could do a lot worse than buy Pablo Held’s first CD,Forest of Oblivion“ (Paul Zettler TrioRiot)