Thomas Gunther is a jazz pianist, composer, orchestrator, music producer, and educator. He is the founder of Music On Time Services and Music Training Online as well as the co-founder and chief orchestrator of Symphonic Jazz International.
Originally from Germany, Thomas moved to Chicago in 1997 after receiving his master’s degree in teaching and performing jazz and popular music from the State University of Stuttgart. Thomas began his life and career in Chicago by studying sound engineering at Columbia College Chicago and was soon offered and accepted the role as the pianist for the acclaimed Chicago Jazz Ensemble, led by William Russo. In addition to his role with the ensemble, Thomas was also offered a teaching position at Columbia College Chicago where he is heavily involved in shaping the curriculum for the Contemporary Urban Music Program designing syllabi for courses such as Pop/Jazz Theory, Pop Arranging and Orchestration, and Pop/Jazz Keyboards.
Thomas’ musical portfolio is as comprehensive as it is impressive. In addition to performing and recording with notable German and American bands such as Radio Big Band des Süd-Westfunks Stuttgart, Lubber Blue, The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and Rhythm City, Thomas has also performed with legendary jazz giants Buddy Defranco, Dino Saluzzi, Lee Knoitz, and Jon Feddas, among others. He has studied privately with Paul Schwarz, Jamey Aebersold, and Bill Dobbins. Check out his music here.
In 2002, Thomas returned to tour his native Germany with his Chicago-based band, Thomas Gunther’s Taste of Chicago Jazz Sextet. The tour was a great success and was released on CD by the Tubinger Jazz- und Klassik Tage.
Currently, Thomas is a music professor at Columbia College Chicago where he also serves as ambassador for the student exchange program with the Pop Academy in Manheim, Germany. He remains heavily active on the Chicago jazz scene, performing with multiple bands around the city. To hear some of Thomas’ work and performances, please check out his bands page and music store.
To read about how Thomas found his way to Chicago check out A German in Chicago.