Hartmut was born in 1961 in a small village in the backwoods Taunus hills in Germany near the Lorelei rock. He started on his brother's guitar at age 15 and switched two years later to bassguitar when he bought Stanley Clarke's debut record, because it was recommended by a hifi magazine for testing stereo equipment. He was immediately captivated by the bass sound.
After two years of saving all his money, he started off to the next bigger city, Koblenz, to acquire a Japanese Jazzbass copy, just for the beautiful black, red-wrapped nylon Rotosound flatwounds. He was hired by a guitar playing classmate for the school Rock band "BREAK"(still existing after 30 years) playing Rolling Stones songs, which he hated from the bottom of his heart, because he wanted to be a cool JAZZ musician.
Later he indeed found some people to play jazz, and nowadays he loves to play "Jumping Jack Flash" as well as "Donna Lee". Playing musicals like "Line One", "Little Shop Of Horrors" or "Personals" widened his music view and allowed him to pay his rent for two years.
He played all kinds of music in many bands, won the "First Bass International Bass Magazine" award in the jazz category (and was finalist in the Fusion category) in 1985, auditioned in 1992 at the Frankfurt Music Fair for a Berklee scholarship. He received it, but preferred to stay in Germany with his first own band "Hartmut Hillmann Eclecticband" and later "Zabriskie Point", which had two CD releases (produced by Mallet virtuoso David Friedman) and an Africa tour in 1995, playing in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
Influenced by the African grooves and musicians he decided to build a new band: "Illicit Poetry" (the songs You can listen to here), playing his original compositions, rehearsing and recording in Tuscany in 1998 and 1999 resulting in two CD releases "Eclecticjazz" and "Uncivilized". Though the record industry showed some interest, the band was never signed... and Hartmut was pissed like hell...