We had the good fortune of connecting with Katja Rieckermann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katja, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking has been a big part of my life and career. I didn’t start playing the saxophone until I was 21 years old but I had set my mind to becoming a professional sax player even at that time. While everybody was telling me I was crazy and I would never become good enough I practiced for hours every day for years in order to become a better player. And a couple of years later I was able to support myself doing gigs back in Germany. When I was in my early 30s I took another big risk and moved to Los Angeles. Of course I had to start all over again to network here in the US to make the right connections. Eventually I got called to audition for Sir Rod Stewart’s band as a saxophone player and I got the gig. I toured with him for the next 14 years from 2001 until 2015.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Apart from having toured with Sir Rod Stewart for many years I also have been writing my own music. I have released a couple of solo CDs, singles and videos on Youtube. I also wrote a saxophone exercise book which is available through the store section on my website KatjaRieckermann.com. Besides having had a steady income while touring with Rod Stewart, the creative side of me was always present and kept me sane. Being creative is a very important outlet as an artist while making a living using my craft as a musician.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Hmmmm…. this one is pretty obvious. I live in Los Angeles and there are many beautiful places to see in the area: the beaches, the desert, even mountains close by. When living in LA one could theoretically go surfing and skiing in one day! there are nice hikes here as well. I personally like to walk. A bike ride along the beach sounds lovely – or if my friends are up for it rollerblade? Of course there are plenty of nice restaurants – one of my favorites is “Geoffreys” in Malibu.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A big shoutout to my friend Andy Hess – he inspired me to start playing the saxophone and funny enough he is also responsible for me meeting Rod Stewart’s musical director in 2001 who then hired me to play in Rod’s band.
photo credits Sven Doornkaat and Paul Gervasi