Louis Armstrong came streaming from the radio of a US army truck (1945) in the backyard of Gunter Hampel's
home in Germany, and young Gunter, already immersed in European classical music, became intrigued with this new sound.
A variety of instruments began to occupy his hands including clarinet, vibes, saxophone, accordion and flute. Soon he was composing. He toured Europe with many groups, including his own, and worked with Don Cherry, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Anthony Braxton, Steve McCall, Marion Brown, Lester Bowie, and his wife Jeanne Lee, to name just a few.
In 1969, he moved to New York, where Gunter founded his own recording label -- BIRTH RECORDS
Photo Credit: Hans Kumpf
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"Musical vanguardist and multi-instrumentalist (bass clarinet, flute, and vibes), Gunter Hampel has been under the spell of jazz since the end of WWII. By the end of the ‘50s, he was already a full-fledged European professional jazz musician and by the ‘60s, he had made lasting inroads into the North American jazz scene. Operating out of Germany and the USA, after living in New York and several European cities throughout his life, Hampel continues to be active at jazz’ leading edge. His notable career involves encyclopedic collaboration with North American and continental jazz legends, as well as a much younger generation of players." ~~~ Javier Antonio Quiñones Ortiz, AAJ