photo by Olverl Potratz

Johannes Haage

Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, Johannes Haage started playing music on violin from age 5, but switched to guitar about eight years later. As a highschool exchange student in Portland, Oregon he started playing jazz regularly and continued to do so back home. He started his college education at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, but soon transfered to Berlin to succesfully finish his studies.
Over the years his travels playing and studying music took him to places like the Center of the Arts in Banff, Canada, and New York City where he had the chance to play and deepen his studies with Bill Frisell, Brad Shepik, Ben Monder, Mark Turner, Dave Douglas, Drew Gress, Ralph Alessi and many others.
In Berlin he has been a very active member of the vital young jazz and improvised music scene since moving there in 2002, playing with many different musicians like Ben Kraef, Tobias Backhaus, Phil Donkin, Heinrich Koebberling, Philipp Gropper, Richard Koch, Oli Steidle, Simon Bauer, Brendan Dougherty, and many more.
Besides the many loose collaborations and gigs as sideman he has been leading his own groups such as Johannes Haage´s P.O.5, the Slowtrio, and the Johannes Haage Trio (with Andreas Lang on bass and Sebastian Merk on drums), which released an Album in 2010 featuring their original cover versions of songs that Marlene Dietrich was known for.
Currently his main band currently is the Trio DRIFT with Drummer Joe Smith and either Matthias Pichler or Oliver Potratz on Bass - their debut LP album “Drift" is out on shoebill music, an independent Vinyl /digital record label directed by Haage.


photo by Oliver Potratz


The three musicians of German, Austrian and American origin met in their current home-base Berlin and have been playing extensively as a Trio for over five years.
The Trio “DRIFT” mainly works with compositions by guitarist Johannes Haage and drummer Joe Smith which offer a great variety of stylistic starting points from which they embark on new musical journeys together, creating open spaces for spontaneous improvisation and mutual interplay. As in a dreamlike state, their music drifts from sparse to dense, from pop-like structures to free improvisation - but always staying true to the melody of the song and the calling of the moment.

They recently finished recording their second album “Darwin´s Blues”, due out in early 2019 on shoebill music, which features both bass players who are actively involved in the band: Founding member Matthias Pichler as well as Oliver Potratz.

The new compositions by Haage and Smith on the album expand the concept of their debut album “Drift” (2016, shoebill music) by adding new elements like overdubs, loops, extended instrumental techniques and electronic modifications to the acoustic sound of the Band, thus opening up new pathways for fresh new live exploration of the material.

photo by Oliver Potratz

photo by Oliver Potratz