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Thomas Gunther’s Resume
Thomas Gunther is a contemporary pianist, composer, orchestrator, music producer, and educator. He is the founder of the Chicago based music preparation service Music On Time.com, and several websites devoted to music education such as Music Training Online.com, PopJazzKeys.com, and TipsForPianists.com. He is the co-founder and chief orchestrator of Symphonic Jazz International, an organisation lead by founder Richard Dunscomb.
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. Within the first semester already he was offered and accepted the role as the pianist for the acclaimed Chicago Jazz Ensemble, led by composer/arranger William Russo.
In addition to his role with the ensemble, Thomas was also offered a teaching position at Columbia College Chicago where he has been 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, Pop/Jazz Keyboards, and Fundamentals of Arranging. He is also teaching Technology for Musicians, and pop-jazz piano/keyboard private lessons at the College and outside the College. In Addition Thomas served as the ambassador for the student exchange program with the Pop Academy in Manheim, Germany.
Besides teaching at Columbia College, in July 2015 he accepted the director for keyboard studies position at the German International School Chicago.
Thomas holds a master’s degree in teaching and performing jazz and popular music from the State University of Stuttgart/Germany.
He has studied privately with Paul Schwarz, Jamey Aebersold, Billy Taylor, and Bill Dobbins, among others.
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, Thomas has also performed with Chicago’s own Orbert Davis, and numerous legendary jazz giants such as Buddy Defranco, Dino Saluzzi, Lee Knoitz, and Jon Feddas.
In 2002, Thomas returned to tour his native Germany with his Chicago-based band, Thomas Gunther’s Taste of Chicago Jazz Sextet, featuring a Chicago all star band with Tim Davis, Alejo Poveda, Daniel Anderson, and Jim Gailloreto. The tour was a great success, and has been released on CD by the Tuebinger Jazz- und Klassik Tage.
Currently, He remains heavily active on the Chicago jazz scene, performing with multiple bands. To hear some of Thomas’ music, go to Thomas Gunther.com
To read about how Thomas found his way to Chicago check out A German in Chicago.