Press release MOSÏK

MOSÏK plays world jazz based on the ideas of the forgotten German music philosopher Trude Tulpenthal. In times of increasing acoustic distraction and musical randomness, the project goes on the trail of this fictional character whose lifelong objective was to seek after intersections between established traditions and contemporary experiments in music. Currently, MOSÏK concentrates primarily on the main subject of Thulpenthals’s early research, the so-called »Jazz Manouche« or »Gypsy Jazz«, whose pioneer Django Reinhardt (1910–1953) is also known as the founder of a first distinct jazz genre from Europe. The quartet is a group of musicians from Halle (Saale) and Leipzig, Germany, and, in addition to its regular concerts, is often booked for private parties and corporate events.


  • Susann Stephan, Halle (Saale) — clarinet
  • Romain Trudeau, Halle (Saale) — guitar
  • Ben Hohlfeld, Leipzig — double bass
  • Johannes Sens, Leipzig — drums

Band history

MOSÏK, a portmanteau of German »Musik« and French »mosaïque«, is founded in 2005 as a joint project by Susann Stephan (clarinet) and Romain Trudeau (guitar) in the city of Halle (Saale), Germany. As a duo and with guest musicians their creative approach is to let converge their musical influences from jazz, klezmer and classical music, thereby fathoming the spirit of these particular styles and playing with emerging tensions. A profound devotion to the musical heritage of jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt is the mainstay of their creative work. 2008 marks the release of their debut album JOHANN, which gains positive reactions among critics. In 2010, 100th anniversary of Django Reinhardt, the duo hosts the »Gypsy Jazz Jam«, a monthly session which during 22 shows presents numerous musicians of local and national renown and finally does away with the alien concept of the term »Gypsy jazz«. In 2011, Leipzig musicians Ben Hohlfeld (double bass) and Johannes Sens (drums) become permanent members of the band. Since 2012, MOSÏK hosts the »Gypsy Jazz Klub«, performing at the Künstlerhaus »Goldene Rose« in Halle (Saale) twice a month. On 21 March 2013, the quartet releases the album WILHELM, which with particular regard to arrangements and sound seeks ways that have barely been explored in Gypsy jazz up to now. Shortly thereafter, MOSÏK presents the character Trude Tulpenthal, a fictional German music philosopher of the 20th century invented by Romain Trudeau referring to the Rosenberg familiy of Sinti musicians, whose life bears many analogies to the biography of Django Reinhardt. MOSÏK therewith marks the beginning of a broadly conceived presentation of Thulpenthal’s ideological legacy in the fields of music, film and literature.

Susann Stephan

Born in 1979 in Zwickau, Saxony, she joined the municipal children’s choir at the age of three, gave the the violin a try for one year and the recorder for four years, and finally started playing the clarinet at the age of eleven. In 1997 she won the first prize in the clarinet category at the German »Jugend jazzt« contest. At the age of 15, she additionally began playing the saxophone, which she played in the Youth Jazz Orchestras of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt as well as in the Uni-Bigband of Halle for several years. From 2001 to 2005 she was a member of Vokalconsort Leipzig. In addition, she pursued electroacoustic projects with the Armenian composer and guitarist Davit Drambyan. With the foundation of MOSÏK in 2005, she has focused on the clarinet again. Her teachers include Manfred Kebsch (†), Michael Arnold (HMT Leipzig), Gregoire Peters (Jazzinstitut Berlin) and Claudio Puntin (HfMT Cologne). She also took courses with Michael Riessler and Giora Feidman, among others.

Romain Trudeau

Born in 1982 in Gunzenhausen, Bavaria, he started playing the guitar at the age of ten after inheriting an instrument from his deceased uncle. Since he was hit by the »Swing« back in 2002, when the eponymous film by Tony Gatlif lit up the silver screens (Roman was a projectionist at various arthouse movie theaters by then), he has devoted his attention mainly to the music in the tradition of Django Reinhardt. The guitar consequently replaced his other instruments, harmonica, violin, and even drums, which he started playing at the age of only four. Besides Biréli Lagrène, Boulou & Elios Ferré brothers and Tchavolo Schmitt, he is mainly influenced by the newer tradition of the Django guitar style, as represented by Stephane Wrembel, Gonzalo Bergara and Sébastien Giniaux, among others. He seeks for further inspiration in the tranditional music of different cultures of the world as well as in contemporary classical music. In 2006 he wrote the music for the trailer for the 1200th anniversary of the city of Halle (Saale), in which he lives since 2004.

Trude Tulpenthal

Trude Tulpenthal was a German music philosopher of the 20th Century. She spent her final years in Halle (Saale), where she lived in the wooden parlor of the city’s oldest inn »Goldene Rose«. Since their records are written to a large extent in an extinct gibberish dialect, with influences from the Sorbian, Yiddish and the Romani language, a translation is considered extremely difficult, sometimes even impossible due to their often fragmentary nature. With a reasonable degree of certainty, it can be said that she preferred the orally transmitted playing styles of the families of Sinti musicians Reinhardt, Rosenberg & Schmitt. A special devotion of her for the Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt rates as assured. Many of Trude Thulpenthal’s findings still remain universally valid, such as »Sini Swing is not an electronic sound art, but an acoustic art of sound« or »As a matter of fact, Gypsy Jazz isn’t anything to nibble on – whereat its crispy crust starts crunching as soon as the rhythm is pumping and the wood is shredding«. As a woman, her ideas gained poor attraction in her early years. So it occurred to her to impersonate a man, whereupon she called herself henceforth Trudo and grew a moustache. Unfortunately, she unexpectedly suffered a stroke at one of her afternoons fishing on Saale river island Peissnitz shortly afterwards, the consequences of which led to her death at the age of only 43 years.