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Sebastian Schunke was born in 1973 and began learning classical piano when he was six. His main influences in the early stages were Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin and Debussy. At the age of 12 he began studying Latin jazz as well, being influenced initially by Eddie Palmieri and later by Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chick Corea and Danilo Perez. In 1996 aged 22 Sebastian Schunke made the move to New York, where he experienced for the first time the tremendous energy and spirit of the city. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin. Sebastian dived into the New York Latin Jazz scene. 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 in New York (Pimienta/Universal 2003). Electronic and singing Elements as well as strings getting embodied in the musical concept and lead to the recording of the second Album mouvement in 2004 (Timba/BMG) with a large orchestral ensemble featuring international renown artists like Felipe Cabrera on bass; Mario Morejon on trumpet, Lukmil Perez on drums. He performed with his projects on several international Festivals and Clubs in Europe, Colombia, Venezuela and the USA. In 2004 he accompanied the German President Köhler to Africa as the official German Cultural Ambassador. With Olvido he recorded the third CD Olvido Ruiz meets Sebastian Schunke in 2004. This Group toured with great success to China in 2005 and 2006. In November Sebastian recorded his new CD "Vida Pura" featuring the Cuban singer Olvido which was released in 2007. Sebastian Schunke is touring with his different Projects in 2007 and 2008 to Colombia, China, USA, Malta and Germany. It was a great honor to record his new CD "Back in New York" in March 2008 with Paquito d Rivera, Antonio Sanchez, John Benitez, Pernell Saturnino and Anders Nilsson which will be released in Autumn 2008. Besides playing and composing Sebastian is teaching at the Conservatory of Music "Hanns Eisler", Berlin and the Humboldt- University, Berlin. in 2004, 2006 and 2008 he received the Berlin Jazz Award.

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