Style: Jazz

Origin: Germany, Uruguay

Based in: Germany
Travel party: 2 musicians

Line Up

Sebastian Schunke / piano
Diego Pinera / drums, percussion

Sebastian Schunke

The Art of Modern Latin Jazz – the Birth of the fourth stream Elusive Beauty


…Schunke intentionally merges the boundaries of classical piano and Latin rhythms to create music that is structured but spontaneous, familiar yet exotic…Schunke ´s skills as a writer and musician deserve applause…
All About Jazz, New York, USA

“…that guy Sebastian Schunke is a very, very fine pianist-composer, he is very good!”
Paquito d´ Rivera, 10 time Grammy Award Winner, USA

“German pianist and composer Sebastian Schunke continues to grow as an artist….His classical training exudes throughout his compositions, melding with Jazz and just the necessary Latin tinge to present refined arrangements that defy any genre.”
Latinjazznet-Magacin, Canada

“….but all said and done, the Sebastian Schunke Group stole the show”
That´s Shanghai;Shanghai, China

“…that guy Sebastian Schunke is a very, very fine pianist-composer, he is very good”
Paquito D´Rivera, 10 time Grammy Award Winner, USA

For 15 years, Sebastian Schunke has been an energetic part of the international jazz scene. Schunke is one of the young leading Jazz composers and pianists worldwide, based in Berlin. As a soloist and with his groups he always creates a fresh new sound, unifying the modern Berlin Jazz with African and Latin American elements. Sebastian unites jazz musicians of international renown, coming from a variety of cultures: Paquito de Rivera, Antonio Sanchez, Nils Wogram, Dafnis Prieto, John Benitez, Yosvany Terry, Richie Flores and Pernell Saturnino have all been part of his group and contributed to his unique sound.

With six international acclaimed CDs and several tours to Asia, South America, Central America, Europe and the US – Schunke has achieved a distinguished name in the Jazz community. His newest and most innovative project is his Duo with his longtime drummer Diego Pinera from Uruguay.

In this Project they both create a totally new and unpredictable Sound – never heard in a duo setting. They recorded the CD “Elusive Beatuy” which will be released in 2018. On this CD Sebastian created for the second time a new Stile in Music “the fourth stream” combining the “New Music” of the 21. century with the roots of Afro Latin America.
With Diego Pinera Schunke has toured with different Projects with enormous success around the world, always to the delight of their rapidly growing group of fans and admirers.

Biography of Sebastian Schunke, compositions, piano
Sebastian Schunke was born in 1973 and began learning classical piano when he was six. At the age of 12 he began studying Latin jazz as well. In 1996 aged 22 Sebastian Schunke made the move to New York, It was a special challenge for Schunke as an European to not only come to grips with the rhythms of Latin America but also to avoid following them in a traditional manner and instead to let them transform into a new groove in irregular measures, while at the same time colouring them with the influence of his European roots, so enabling, along with native New Yorkers and European and Latin American musicians, something new and original to emerge.
Sebastian dived into the New York Latin Jazz scene and studied with Garry Dial, Manhattan School of Music, Sonny Bravo, Hilton Ruiz and Alan Gampel. His compositions caught the attention of renowned musicians like John Benitez, Antonio Sanchez, Richie Flores, Dafnis Prieto, Yosvany Terry and Peter Brainin, with whom he recorded his debut CD “Symbiosis” (Timba /Edel 2002).

In 2000 Sebastian moved to Berlin, where he finished his Jazz studies at the Conservatory of Music “Hanns Eisler”.
Electronic and singing Elements as well as strings getting embodied in the musical concept and lead to the recording of the second CD “Mouvement“ in 2004 (Timba/Edel) with a large orchestral ensemble. In 2007 he released the CD “Sebastian Schunke meets Olvido” – Vida Pura (Timba/Edel). On this two recordings Sebastian brings together international famous Latin Jazz musicians living in Berlin, Paris, New York and Cuba. They unify the intense energy from their home cultures to create a complete new song concept in a Latin Jazz environment. In 2008 Sebastian went back to New York recording his CD “Back in New York” with 9 time Grammy Award Winner Paquito d´Rivera and an All Star Band with John Benitez, Antonio Sanchez, Pernell Saturnino and Anders Nilsson – leading the music to a new hip expression. In 2011 he produced with his highly celebrated Berlin Quartet his fifth CD where he performed for the first time also 4 Songs Piano Solo. In 2014 he released his last CD with international high class musicians as Alex Sipiagin or Hans Glawischnig from New York – keeping on developing his own famous stile – the most modern and sophisticated Latin Jazz in recent years!

Since 2002 the Sebastian Schunke Group tours the world unifying world famous jazz performing artists from all over the world. He performed with his projects on several international Festivals and Clubs in Colombia, Venezuela, China, Laos, Chile, Honduras, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Poland, Latvia, Malta, Kuwait, Turkey, Luxemburg, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA. He accompanied the German President to Africa as official Cultural Embassador.

Sebastian has won 5 times the Berlin Jazz Award. Sebastian is the first European Musician who has developed his own international acclaimed Euro Latin Stile. His compositions are changing he keeps his music fresh – totally new and unpredictable.

CDs Sebastian Schunke
Sebastian Schunke Euro Latin Progression „Symbiosis“ (Timba 2003)
Sebastian Schunke Orchestral Expression „Mouvement“ (Timba 2005)
Sebastian Schunke meets Olvido „Vida Pura“ (Timba 2007)
Sebastian Schunke / Paquito de Rivera „Back in New York“ (Connector 2008)
Sebastian Schunke “Life and Death” (Connector 2011)
Sebastian Schunke Genesis. Mystery and Magic (NWog Records 2014)
Sebastian Schunke / Diego Pinera “Elusive Beauty” (Connector 2018)

Festival Appearance Sebastian as a Bandleader (selection)
Jazz al Parque, Bogotá, Colombia (2003), International Jazz Festival Manizales, Colombia (2003, 2006), International Jazz Festival Calí, Columbia (2007), Jazz Festival Bucaramanga, Colombia (2003, 2008) International Piano Festival Bucaramanga (2006), International Piano Festival Barrancamerbeja, (2006); Jazz Festival Caracas (2003), Goethe-Institut Caracas (2003, 2006), German Embassy, Bogotá, Colombia (2006), Universidad Nacional Bogotá,(2003); Italian Culture Institut Etiopia, Africa (2004), French Culture Institut, Benin, Africa (2004), German Consulate Benin, Africa: Concert for the German President (2004), Xinghai Concert Hall, Guangzhou, China (2005, 2008), German Consulate, Guangzhou, China (2005, 2006, 2007), JZ Club, Shanghai (2005, 2006), True Colors Jazz Club, Shenzhen (2005, 2006), German Consulate, Shanghai (2006, 2007), Blue Nites Festival, Berlin (2005), Kemptener Jazzfrühling, Germany (2003), APC-Summer Festival, Kempten (2005), Symphonie Hall, Istanbul, Turkey (2003), European Week Cartagena, Colombia (2007, 2008), Masala Weltbeat Festival, Hannover (2005), German Embassy Vientiane, Laos (2008); Concerthall Vientiane, Laos (2008); Concerthall Valletta, Malta (2008); Jazzfestival Wiehl, Germany (2008); Shezhen Concert Hall, China (2008); ExpoAlemania, Bogota, Colombia (2008); North Sea Around Town Festival, Rotterdam (2009); Thelonious Jazz Club, Chile (2009); LillaHotel Barren, Stockholm (2009); Rigas Ritmi Jazzfestival, Latvia (2010); Yoshi´s Jazz Club, Oakland, USA (2010); Teatro Libre Jazz Festival, Bogota (2011); EUNIC International Jazz Festival, Lima, Peru (2011), International Jazz Festival Naguanagua, Venezuela (2013), Xinghai Concert Hall, China (2013); Glenn Miller Jazz Café, Stockholm (2014); Nochtspeicher, Hamburg (2014); Xinghai Concert Hall Jazz Festival, China (2014); OCT-Loft Jazz Festival, China (2014, 2016), German Embassy Kuwait (2014), German Embassy Lima, Peru (2014); JZ Jazz Festival, Shanghai, 2015, German Embassy, Lima, 2015, German Embassy, Kuwait, 2015, 2018; General Consulate Shanghai (2016); Tianhe International Music Festival, Guanghzou (2016); OCT Loft Jazzfestival, China (2016); International Jazz Festival Port-au-Prince, Haiti (2017); International Jazz Festival of Nicaragua (2017), Pop-up Tour, Mexico (2017); International Jazzfestival of Guatemala (2017), International Jazzfestival of Honduras (2017); Culture Centre Kuwait (2018).