rock will never die
   rock will never die

Talk with...Maria Kofler

I met with Maria Kofler, the well-known multi-instrumentalist from Austria,

in Kufstein for a concise interview.

rockfrank: Maria, you are truly a multi-instrumentalist, well versed in playing the saxophone (alto, tenor, as well as baritone), the transverse flute and clarinet. With „Sax ‚n‘ more“ you‘ve created a distinctive musical style that very much reflects your unique approach to any given song. What elements does that style comprise of, what kind of music do you chose for interpretation?

I read, anywhere from Beethoven to Metallica, a very large repertoire.


Maria Kofler: Jazz, Pop, and rock music. I interpret well known pieces through improvisation. So, basically, every time on stage there is a new or different interpretation of any given song, no performance like the other. That’s what keeps it alive. I take a song, know the basic theme of it, and I sort of layer my improvisation on top or over it.


rockfrank: You are a certified nurse; how did music start to play a part in your life? As far as I know, first you started out as a student at a conservatory in Innsbruck.


Maria Kofler: I started out in Innsbruck at a regular music-school, then with the clarinet at the conservatory. So, I had to decide at one point: Do I become a music teacher or do I join an orchestra with the clarinet? Typically, back then all the clarinet players in an orchestra were male. So, I opted for a bread- and-butter job first and worked as a nurse in an intensive care unit.  The music kind of developed alongside the job. My brother actually led the way to the sax, since he was conducting a big band and was looking for a sax player at the time. He handed me a banged-up alto-sax, and so I started getting the first tunes out of it. I was about 17 years old.                                                   A former teacher, foremost in swing, led me to jazz music and I took a few classes. This guy, a sax player from Washington, Harold Battiste – I’ll never forget this -, he took away my sheets; I’ve always played off sheets. So, I stood there, too shy and insecure to play. He said „Close your eyes, lady, open your ears“. With that he paved the way to what would become „my“ kind of approach. Eyes closed and listening. Then just play along / on top / layer on…


So, that’s how it works with me, playing about 200 songs in my repertoire – no sheets. It was hard to learn, but I have him (Harold) to thank for. And I really enjoy it.

rockfrank: You’ve toured throughout many European cities, also had three performances relaxed to the Olympics, including Rio de Janeiro. How did that happen, the recognition of and appreciation for you and your music?


Maria Kofler: I played at the Bob Café in Igls, 2011, as part of the supporting program during a world championship. The head of the Austrian Olympic committee was in attendance and heard me play. He just said „I need you in London“. That’s where the summer Olympics took place in 2012. He invited me to play two, three nights at the „Austrian quarters. I even had to extend my stay for a week, which I gladly did.


It so happened that I could go to the winter games in Sotschi in 2014. There I performed as the „outdoor sax player“ for the supporting acts in front of the Austrian guests. We were three musicians, taking turns.                                                    

Then in Rio, that was „Time of my life“. 5.000 people coming through the Austrian quarters every day. I took turns with a folk band and a DJ, a total of 6 hours for the three of us to perform, each of us one set of two hours. The whole thing was totally relaxed. Especially in front of the Brazilian guests, rhythm in their blood and all. So, now I’m anxious to find out if I get to go to Paris next year, where the next summer games will take place in 2024.


rockfrank: What part do social media play in your career? Do you utilize those platforms to promote your music?


Maria Kofler: Yes. My CDs are on Spotify, and I myself are a fan of Facebook, also a little Instagram. I use Facebook for updates on my concerts and events as well as after-show-reviews.



rockfrank: Your last CD was released in 2019, marking the 20th anniversary of you performing on stage.


Maria Kofler: Exactly. That’s when we did a best-of. Included were five new songs with my band. Also, you’ll find some recordings with orchestra from 2016. At the time my brother arranged my covers for an orchestra-project with five horns, five strings plus my band. We also made a CD with that.


rockfrank: Is there a new tangible product to be expected?


Maria Kofler: I do have big plans for next year. It’s the 25th anniversary of my career, which I have already celebrated on stage. Amongst others with my band, an Elvis impersonator, and Zabine Kampfinger. I would like to do something along those lines next year, but with an orchestra. And a CD recording to boot. My head ist full of ideas. Maybe also some Pink Floyd.


rockfrank: What kind of music would we be listening to at your house-warming party?


Maria Kofler: Pink Floyd, of course. Metallica and Coldplay. Zabine Kampfinger, I’d arrange a live performance.



Thank you so much for the nice chat. Best of luck for the future, professional and otherwise.