Christian Burchard was already active as a jazz musician in the 1960s and played piano, trombone and vibraphone. Together with the saxophonist and violinist Edgar Hofmann as well as the drummer and his school friend Dieter Serfas, he formed the jazz trio "Contemporary Trio". In 1967 Christian Burchard toured with his vibraphone for several years with the Pianisten of John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Billie Holiday and others. Mal Waldron, whom he described as his "musical father" and with whom he also made many recordings such as "For Eva". In 1969 Burchard himself switched to drums and formed the new band Embryo with Hofmann and Lothar Meid.
Meid left the band after a short time to join Amon Düül. Meanwhile, Christian Burchard continued to gather new musicians around him. In total, more than 400 musicians have played for the music collective Embryo since 1969 . Long-standing members include Edgar Hofmann, Julius Golombeck (guitar, oud), Roman Bunka (guitar, oud), Michael Wehmeyer (keyboard), Lothar Stahl (marimba, drums) and Jens Pollheide (bass, flute). In addition, there were long-standing friendships with other musicians and bands who repeatedly appeared as guests at Embryo, including Charlie Mariano, Mal Waldron, Marty Cook, Chris Karrer (Amon Düül), Roland Schaeffer (Guru Guru), Karsten Hochapfel, Nick Mc Carthy, Max Weissenfeldt... There was also a close personal connection with the Herford band Missus Beastly, Sparifankal and Ton Steine Scherben who founded the label April (later Schneeball) together in 1976.
Early, in 1971, Embryo had a radio hit called Centipede. Within a few years, the style of the band developed, among other things through trips to Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco from jazzy Krautrock to world music, where different styles and directions were united. Many embryo albums were created on extensive concert tours to other continents. The band has also performed with important musicians of the countries they have visited such as Ustad Mohamad Omar, Malang Nejrabi, Trilok Gurtu, T.A.S Mani, R. A. Ramamani, Fela Kuti, Mahmoud Gania, Okay Temiz, Yuri Parfjenov and many others. The film Vagabonds Caravan by Werner Penzel (1980) reports on one of these journeys, which led from Germany through Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan to India.
Bassist Uve Müllrich, keyboardist Michi Wehmeyer, guitarist Roman Bunka left Embryo in 1980 and formed their own band Dissidenten, initially called Embryo's Dissidents.
In 1986 and 1987 Embryo visited Nigeria and met Fela Anikulapo Kutis and Yoruba Dun Dun Orchestra.
In 1996, Christian Burchard's daughter Marja Burchard (*1985) made her first appearance at Embryo at the age of eleven. As a multi-instrumentalist (piano, accordion, marimba, vibraphone, drums, trombone, organ, keyboard, santurm, voice) she soon gained a permanent place in the band.
In July 2008, Embryo was awarded the German World Music Prize Ruth 2008 for lifetime achievement at the TFF Rudolstadt.
In the summer of 2016, Christian Burchard suffered a stroke at the age of 70, which made his concert performances more difficult. As a result, his daughter Marja took over the direction of the band and continues to lead it even after Burchard's death in January 2018. She has rejuvenated the band with new elements and new members, but continues the embryo tradition with the involvement of musicians from different cultures such as Afghanistan, Morocco, China, Gambia, etc. .
Kunstverein Familie Montez