"Bechstein grand pianos have an intoxicating tonal depth and complexity that allows intricate abstract, more European sound textures to shine, as well as giving earthy rhythmic structures an enchanting tonal rootedness. This range is unique."
Berlin-based pianist and composer Sebastian Schunke has been active for 20 years in the development of his own internationally recognized style on the borderline between modern jazz, the Afro-Latin American musical tradition and the modern European avant-garde. He is considered an "innovator" of Latin jazz. With 7 CDs albums since 2002, he has managed to be the first European in the genre of Latin jazz not only to develop his own voice, but also to give European modernism its own musical justification. The style which has been dubbed EuroLatin Jazz by international representatives of the press - is now referred to as a "fourth stream" created by Schunke: the symbiosis of "Afro-Latin American musical tradition with the new music of the 21st century".
In the past years Schunke has been working with the most renowned musicians of the international Latin jazz scene such as 12-time Grammy winner and Cuban music legend Paquito de Rivera as well as multiple Grammy winners of the American and Latin American scene, including: Antonio Sanchez, John Benitez, Yosvany Terry or Dafnis Prieto but also strong forces of the European jazz scene such as Nils Wogram.
Through his projects and the associated development of the new form of European-Latin-Jazz, Sebastian Schunke has also made a name for himself on the international scene. Thus, in addition to many concerts in Europe and the USA, more than 10 concert tours through Latin and Central America (Colombia, Peru, Chile, etc.) have taken place in recent years and also the Asian world (including appearances at the largest Chinese jazz festival in Shanghai, Guangzhou concert hall, Shenzhen) could be brought into contact with his music through over 10 tours.
It was a special honor for Schunke to accompany the German President to Africa as Germany's official cultural ambassador. In Colombia, for example, the Sebastian Schunke Group was celebrated as the top act in Bogotá at the "Jazz al Parque Festival" and in Calí at the "Ajazzgo Jazz Festival" by more than 5,000 fans each time. Sebastian Schunke is supported by the Goethe-Institut, which has invited him regularly to German missions abroad, as well as businesses like Lufthansa, BMW, Allianz or Adidas. Sebastian Schunke has been a C. Bechstein artist since 2021. He has won several awards such as the Jazz Prize of the Berlin Senate (2004, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2017, 2019), the Berlin Jazz Award and multiple times the CD Critics Award of the Canadian Jazz Trade Press.
He studied jazz piano at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler", Berlin and the "Manhattan School of Music", New York.
Photos © Schunkemusic, C. BechsteinMore about Sebastian Schunke