About Jazz-Pianist & Pop-Keyboardist Thomas Gunther

Thomas Gunther on Piano and Keyboards

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A view years back

Education

State University of Music and the Performing Arts Stuttgart/Germany.

Master’s degree in Teaching and Performing Piano/Keyboards with focus on Jazz and Popular Music Genres and Styles.

What Kind of Pianist am I?

I play acoustic piano as well as electronic keyboards (with all the state-of-the-art technology that goes with it). I wear many hats, as they say.

I never felt like settling on a particular genre simply because I love all kinds of music. (Check out my music here).
But I definitely have a strong tendency towards contemporary music, especially jazz influenced genres. This includes many different jazz styles, blues, latin, funk, soul, and some pop music.

Experience

As a versatile jazz pianist and popular music keyboardist I performed and recorded with bands and ensembles of all sizes, instrumentations and genres, in Europe and the United States.

In my 20s I was the keyboardist with the German Pop Band ZigZagZoo. The band made 2nd place in the Yamaha international competition for best Pop Band of Germany, just 1 place short of qualifying for the final round in Japan. Check it out!

Thomas Gunther's ZigZagZoo Band - Send Me Just An SOS

At the same time I was the jazz pianist with numerous German groups such as Lubber Blue featuring my long time musical partner Peter Lehel with whom I also produced my first CD in the USA called The Windy City.
After moving to Chicago I became the principle jazz pianist with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble touring Europe and the United States where we performed in legendary concert halls and jazz clubs such as Birdland/NYC.
In Chicago I created my own bands like The Thomas Gunther Trio Plus, and Thommy Gunther’s Taste Of Chicago Band.
I also recorded and produced lots of different original music over the years.

Workshops and private lessons with Jamey Aebersold, Paul Schwarz, David Berger, Bill Dobbins, Chuchito Valdés, to name a few.


Performing with Vocalists











Thomas with vocalist Ines
(way back in the days)

 I was the keyboardist, musical arranger, and music director for many vocalists and vocal groups. I have been the musical director for shows, and accompanist for vocalists specialized in musical theater, jazz, and other popular music styles.

The intimacy of the Vocal-Piano Duo

There is hardly a musical setting more intimate than that of the vocal-piano duo.

Two people feeding off each other’s energy while listening carefully to what the other is doing, with the common purpose of creating something wonderful and deeply personal.

Spicy Jazz Adventure live at Columbia College Chicago

Thomas with
show band HONEY PIE,
Stuttgart/Germany 1996

I have played in almost any setting you can think of. This includes solo piano, duos (with singers and instrumentalists) all the way to huge ensembles, including symphony orchestras with jazz band. I love it all.