Alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, compositon. Born in Hamburg, 1963. Started playing the saxophone at 16 and, following a period at the Hamburg Conservatory (Hamburger Musikhochschule), moved in 1985 to study at the Cologne Conservatory of Music with Heiner Wiberny, graduating in 1990. Further studies with Charlie Mariano, Sal Nistico and Steve Lacy. Frank Gratkowski has been working as a soloist in various international formations (Grubenklang Orchester, Klaus Koenig Orchester, Musikfabrik NRW, Tony Oxley Celebration Orchestra, Bentje Braam, BikBentBraam, All Ears, Zeitkratzer, WDR Big band, etc.). Since 1990 he has been giving solo performances throughout Europe, Canada and USA.
In 1995 he founded the "Frank Gratkowski Trio" and performed with countless musicians (Georg Graewe, Paul Lovens, John Lindberg, Dieter Manderscheid, Gerry Hemingway, Sebastiano Tramontana, Herb Robertson, Peter Kowald, Peter Brötzmann…). In 2005 he got the SWR Jazzprize. Frank Gratkowski played on nearly every German and on numerous international Jazz Festivals including Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Quebec, Les Mans, Muelhuus… He has been teaching saxophone and ensembles at the Cologne, Berlin and Arnhem Conservatory of Music and is giving workshops all around the world.