Personal Informations

Holger Maik Mertin

  • Born 1977 in Olpe am Biggesee (Deutschland)
  • Highschool St. Franziskus Gymnasium, Olpe (06.1996)
  • Musical Civil Service
  • Civil service with a focus on music with the youth organisation “Offene Tür” at the “Lorenz-Jäger-Haus”, Olpe (09.1996 – 10.1997)
  • Studium:
    • Masters Project: “The Davul drum in the Turkish Music life in Cologne”
    • Graduated with the title Masters ofArts (01. 2006)
  • Erasmus Scholarship at the „School for Oriental and African Studies“, England – London
    • Focus:Practical- Music studies (10. 2002 – 07. 2003)
  • Studies in Music Ethnology /Sociology/Philosophy/Music Therapy at the University Cologne
    • Focus: Turkish Rhythm, Afrikan rhythm systems, South-East Asian music, Western popular music (04.1999 – 01.2006)
  • Masters Studies at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
    • (Fields of study: Sociology, Philosophy, Music Studies) (10.1997 – 03.1999)

Miscellaneous Music Lessons:

  • Drum and percussion lessons with / including: Sanju Sahei, Bejnam Samani, Spyrie Karas, Rhani Krija, Keith Carlock, Mino Cinelu, Ismail Tarlan, Saw Eisenhauer, Samson Gassama, Dirk Seiler
  • Along with: attending countless percussion/Drum-Workshops

Artistic Nominations / Prizes

  • Nominated for best new production 2014 in “Opern Welt” for “Djaizad Al Salam – Friedenspreis” with Musikdebatte Köln
Artistic (research) Projects

Musical Director: DAAD-Projekts “Die Atlas-Werkstätten von Agdz Marokko”

  • A model region for the knowledge-cultural dialogue in an interdisciplinary and intercultural research project
  • Partner: University for Music and Dance, Cologne: Technical University Cologne, University for Multidisciplinarity Ouarzazate (Marokko), and the University for Science and Technology Errachidia (Morocco) (2016 – 2018)

Authors a regularly occurring column/workshop for the trade magazine “STICKS”.

  • Numbering over 100 articles for the percussion magazine “Sticks”.
  • Theme: Percussion Instrumentarium, special focus on “Cajon” (2007 – 2017)

Lecturer for “Practical Musical Studies” at the University for Music and Dance Cologne

  • transdisciplinary development for new playing techniques and forms of expression in music and dance CCD (Center for Contemporary Dance) (2010 – 03.2019)

Founder and Co-Director of the inclusive oriented ensemble “Green Drums Velbert”

  • Cooperation project with the Trade-Highschool Kastanienalle and the Music and Arts School Velbert (2013)

„Modes of Presentification“ -inter/trans-disciplinary Cologne Research Platform

  • At the crossroads of music/dance/sport/humanities – Labor phase with work in progress showing: “Blutgrätsche” (2013 – 2014)

Musician/Initiator/Director of Concert-/ Performance Series „Drums And More“

  • Point of departure: a committed trans-disciplinary artistic dialogue with varying guests form diverse fields of art in mostly small ensembles and primarily duos.
  • This includes internationally recognised artists such as Milan Sladek (Pantomime), Hayden Chisholm (saxophone), Jaki Liebezeit (World Drumkit)
  • Locations: Salon Freiraum Köln, Kulturhaus Osterfeld Pforzheim, Historisches Bürgerhaus Neviges, Kloster Blieskastel (seit 2009)

Artistic Research Format at the HfMT Köln at the intersection of Dance and Music

  • including team teaching together with Prof. Nina Hähnel at CCD (Center for Contemporary Dance), in the Masters study program Dance Dissemination (2010 – 2014)
  • as well as „Movement Research“ with Douglas Bateman und Flavia Tabarrini

Performances with Music/Dance-Duo „InProjekt“ in Israel and Germany (2008)

  • Performances in Tel Aviv with following research-travel to Jerusalem and Haifa- musical performances with Liron Man (Hang)

Endorser and Instrument Developer

  • for the instrument production firm “Meinl Percussion”, “Tres Lados Percussion”, “Konklang”, “Afroton”, “Hess Klangkonzepte”
  • ex. the Signature Stick “H. M. Capstick” or the “Bodenreiber” (2008)

Lecturer for “Bodypercussion” at the Rheinische Music School Cologne

  • Department “Dance” (pre-education Dance) (2006)

(Studies)- Residency in Barbados

  • Music research and Work as live and studio musician with: Mike Cheesman (Git.), andre Donawa (Bass), Wayne Poonka Willock (perc.) Mr. Impact (Steelpan) (2006)

  • Transdisciplinary Workshop at German Sports University Cologne. (2019)
  • Scholarship of German Kunststiftung NRW as artist in residency in Istanbul for three months. (2020)
  • Soundart Composition “der transformierende Raum” for WDR Radio. (2020)
Further activites

Web-Video-Tutorial-Series “Small-Percussion”

  • Conception and Realisation/video recurring for:, Meinl und STICKS (2012)

Saarpfälzische Sommer Academy Blieskastel (2008 – 2013)

  • Workshops on the theme “Improvisation” “Body music”, “Cajon” 2008 – 2013

“I’m Crazy But That’s Okay” student dance/film/music Project

  • interdisciplinary project with the Cologne „Kaiserin Augusta School“ (2007 – 2008)

Percussion-Workshop at the Politischen Academy Biggesee (1997)

In addition a Workshop lecturer at

“IAK” (Institute for Practical Creativity)

  • Creativity workshops (Creative development through creativity and participant in Think Tanks)

Dance/Music -Workshop mit Prof. Martin Sonderkamp at the Leverkusener Bayer-Foundation

  • with students of the ZZT (dance dissemination) for school children

“Käptn’ Book” Bonn in the German Museum Bonn

  • a multi year cooperative work in the Thematic field “musical sound research” for children

“Kinder Kunst Kinder”-Street Festival Bonn

  • a participatory sound parcours / first improvisations techniques

Bodymusic-Workshop in Gaines Spain

  • Workshop at the Percussion-Festival in Gaines (Spanien) (2014)

Workshop in Tansania

  • Percussion-Workshop on the theme of „universal-playing techniques“ in NGO- funded Music School in the capital city Dar es Salam (2013)
Concerts, Performances und Artistic Cooperations

2017 – 2013

  • Solist with WDR Radio Orchestra (Fazil Say: Grand Bazar & Violinen Konzert) (2017)
  • Solo-Performance at Cologne City Dance (Mouvier, Stephanie Thiersch) (2016)
  • “Mitumba” – intercultural Dance/Music-Happening of the Cologne Dance Company Mouvier with European and East African Musicians/Dancers/Choreographers – exchange project with performances in Germany (i.e. ZKM Karlsruhe, Tanzhaus NRW Düsseldorf) and Tanzania, Kenia (2013 – 2015)
  • Improvisation soloist with Nürnberger Staatsphilharmonie within a trans-disciplinary Concert „Phil & Chill“ (2014)
  • Solo– and Duo-Performance at the Percussion-Festival in Gaines (Alicante), Spanien (2014)
  • “Djaizad Al Salam – Friedenspreis” – intercultural chamber opera – co-composer and Musician – including in the Cologne Trinity Church (2014)

2012 – 2005

  • Solo-performances and workshops at the Frankfurt Music Trade Fair (2010 – 2012)
  • Solo-Performance at the „Meinl Drum Festival“ (2010)
  • Musician with the Playhouse/Theater Cologne in the work “Robin Hood” totalling over 50 performances (2008/2009)
  • improvised Stage Performance with japanese Butoh-Dancers and jazz musicians at Cologne’s Theater im Hof (2005)
Broadcast recordings (excerpts)

Numerous television recordings and involved in film productions such as:

Percussion-Solist with the WDR Rundfunkorchester

  • German Premier of Fazil Says „Grand Bazar“ (2017)

Composed/Played in the WDR Hörfunk-Produktion

  • 14 Diaries from WW1 (2017)

Solo-Musician in the Film-Dance-Project “I’m Crazy But That’s OK”

  • and the eponymous documentary – Regisseur: Berlinale-Prize winner Ali Samadi Ahadi (2008)

Member of the „Mike Cheeseman Band“ / Televised recording in Barbados

  • for the CBC (Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation) on the Caribbean island nation of Barbados (Lesser Antilles) (2006)

ZDF / 31. Evangelischer Church Day/Cologne

  • Duo with the Dancer Robina Steyer at the “Erotic Mass” (Karthäuserkirche/Cologne (2007)

Musical performer in the dance film “Zwischenwelten”

  • by Parisa Karimi (Cologne) (2007)

Ensemble member for the film music for “Hein Fach”

  • An matriculation performance-project at the “Academy of Media Arts Cologne”
  • direction: Sebastian Poerschke, music: Maciej Sledziecki (2004)

Musikvideo “Student party” (music and performance)

  • to the eponymous Solo-Percussion-Program, Directior: Vicky Peveling, Berlin (2004)

Musical performer in a short film project

  • by Tetsu Okada, London (2003)

Film music, in collaboration with Holger Schmeer

  • for the short film “New York noctem” by Michael Wagner, Siegen (1998)
Music Journalist and Authorships

Interviewer of international professional drummers and percussionists

  • for the trade journal “STICKS” from 2008 – 2013

Author for „IZ“ – trade journal for instrument making

  • regular publications for the journal on the themes of drum kit and percussion (2007 – 2012)

Freelance edition for the T.V. and Radio Jazz program

  • for the WDR-Cologne (2000 – 2010)

Concert-Reviewer and editing team

  • for the daily newspaper „Westfälische Rundschau“ (local edition Olpe) (1999 – 2006)
Concert and Performance Biography


  • WDR Rundfunkorchester Cologne (2017)
  • Cologne’s Barockorchester (CBO) 2016
  • Nürnberger Staatsphilharmonie (2014)

Artistic Collectives / Dance-Companies / Theater

  • Harake Dance Company (Berlin 2019)
  • Ballett Theater Pforzheim (since 2017)
  • Mouvier Dance Company (2013, 2014, 2016)
  • Musikdebatte Köln (2014)
  • State Theater Trier – Production Equilibrium (Cooperation- Exchange project-Project with Theater Luxemburg und Theater Bytom, Polen) (2012)
  • Theater House Köln (Winter Program 2008 and 2009)


  • Jaki Liebezeit (World Drumkit – “Can”)
  • Jonas Burgwinkel (Jazzdrums)
  • Hayden Chisholm (Saxophon, Clarinette)
  • Paul Shigihara (Guitar – “WDR Big Band Köln”)
  • Gerd Dudek (Saxophon)
  • Ali Haurand (Double Bass – “European Jazz Ensemble”)
  • AnnenMayKantereit
  • Eberhard Kranemann (ex “Kraftwerk”)
  • DJ Marcelle (Amsterdam)
  • Yoichiro Kita (“Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra”)
  • Maria Jonas (Renaissance-Vocal Song)
  • Schälsick Brassband
  • Oliver Steller (Lyricist)
  • “Tricycle Experiment” (Afro-Rock Formation / London)
  • “The London Royal Thai music circle”
  • Wayne “Poonka” Willock (Percussion – Barbados)
  • Michael Cheeseman (Guitar – Barbados)
  • Mr Impact (Steelpandrum – Barbados)
  • Walter L. Mik (Speaker)
  • Alessandro Palmitessa (“PEM” – Saxophon)
  • Cosimo Erario (“PEM” – Guitar)
  • “Voice in the Attic” with Chris Boge
  • Hinz und Kunz (Music-Caberet)
  • Steve Ouma Band (Afro-Beat)
  • Dominik Schneider (Baroque flutes)

Dancers / Performing Artists

  • Milan Sladek
  • Jan Burkhard
  • Martin Sonderkamp
  • Kojiro Imada
  • Kazue Ikeda
  • Heide Tegeder
  • Nina Hähnel
  • Yukino Nono
  • Michal Hirsch
  • Yoshi Shebahara
  • Mayumi Fukuzaki
  • Reveriano Camill
  • Maher Abdou Moaty
  • Vera Sander
  • Phuong Tuong
  • Rick Kam
Discography (label-released)


  • 2017 Holger Mertin – Michael Koko Eberli – Marco Riederer “The Immersive Project” – Spezialmaterial (Zürich)
  • 2015 Jaki Liebezeit – Holger Mertin “Aksak” – Staubgold 2014
  • 2008 MÄÄr “Lila” – EPG Records

as Sideman

  • 2016 Cölner Barockorchester “Towards Heaven” Coviello Classics”
  • 2015 Oliver Steller Quintett “Best Of” Naxos-Records
  • 2015 Klangwart “Transit”, Staubgold
  • 2014 DJ Marcelle “Another Nice Mess Meets Most Soulmates. At Faust Studio Deejay Laboratory”, [Vinyl LP,] Klangbad Records
  • 2014 DJ Marcelle “Another Nice Mess III / Meets Further Soulmates” [Vinyl LP], 2012, Klangbad Records
  • 2011 Voice in the Attic “Shark Rider”
  • 2011 Arnd Sprung Trio “Lucid Impressions”, Westpark Records
  • 2006 Cosimo Erario: “Mille Oceani”, 2006, EGP Records

© 2020 Holger Maik Mertin. All rights reserved.