Marlies Debacker is a Belgian pianist and performer of free improvised music, free jazz as well as contemporary classical music. She currently resides in Cologne, Germany. She does extensive research on the sound possibilities of her instrument with a focus on resonance, pedal work, inside piano playing and the use of various preparations, thus allowing her to move between the conventional sound of a piano and various percussive and pseudo-electronic sounds.


She performs often on vintage keyboards as well. After finishing a master degree in Improvisation at the HfMT Cologne under Professor Paulo Alvares, she is currently studying a master of New Music at the Folkwang Universität der Künste in Essen.


Debacker is alongside German tuba player Carl Ludwig Hübsch and saxophonist Salim Javaid co-curator of the concert series Plattform nicht dokumentierbarer Ereignisse in the Atelier Dürrenfeld/Geitel – a platform for improvised and contemporary music. This format now exists for over 15 years and has welcomed many stars of the international improvised music scene during that time. An impressive visual documentation of the undocumentable events from 2004 to 2014 can be found here.Marlies Debacker is also newest member of the IMPAKT collective for improvised music in Cologne.


The IMPAKT label documents and publishes works of the collective’s musicians on a semi-annual basis. The IMPAKT calendar is an attempt to give an overview of every concert and event of improvised music in Cologne. The monthly newsletter (that you can subscribe to via mail to either IMPAKT or Marlies Debacker) also includes events in cities close to Cologne such as Bonn, Essen, Bochum and others. IMPAKT also organizes concerts in Cologne, inculding the KONTRASTE series in the Stadtgarten Cologne that has already invited guests like Evan Parker, Rudi Mahall, Isabelle Duthoit, Tony Hodgekinson, Inga Zach and many others.


Besides her work as a performing pianist, Debacker is also a piano teacher at the Offene Jazzhaus Schule in Cologne.