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Artist Profile: Sebastian Schunke



Sebastian Schunke

For more than 20 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 Latin American elements. Sebastian unites jazz musicians of international renown, coming from a variety of cultures: Paquito D’Rivera, Antonio Sanchez, Pernell Saturnino, Nils Wogram, Dafnis Prieto, John Benitez, Yosvany Terry, Richie Flores, Alex Sipiagin and Pernell Saturnino have all been part of his group and contributed to his unique sound.

Pianist, Composer Sebastian Schunke
Pianist, Composer Sebastian Schunke

With eight international acclaimed CDs as a band leader and several tours to Asia, South America, Central America, Europe and the US – Schunke has achieved a distinguished name in the Jazz community. Sebastian is the first European Musician who has developed his own international acclaimed Euro Latin Style.

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. In 2000 Sebastian moved to Berlin, where he finished his Jazz studies at the Conservatory of Music “Hanns Eisler”.

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 and he has a collaboration with Yamaha.


  • 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)
  • Sebastian Schunke “Existential Intensities” with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Grupo Ojundegara, Berlin Brew and Trois Femmes (Connector 2023)

Festivals Appearances – Sebastian as 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, Guangzhou (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); German Embassy Kuwait (2018); International Jazz Festival Monterrey, Mexico (2018).

Web Publisher. Founder, Editor & Webmaster for Latin Jazz Network, World Music Report & That Canadian Magazine. A passionate and committed communicator with a sensibility for the arts based in Toronto, Canada.

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