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
In 1996 aged 22 Sebastian Schunke made the move to New York.
It was a special challenge for Schunke as an European to not only come to grips with
the rhythmics of Latin America but also to avoid following them in a traditional
manner and instead to let them transform into a new groove in irregular measures,
while at the same time colouring them with the influence of his European roots, so
enabling, along with native New Yorkers and European and Latin American
musicians, something new and original to emerge.
Sebastian dived into the New York Latin Jazz scene and studied with Garry Dial,
Manhattan School of Music, Sonny Bravo, Hilton Ruiz and Alan Gampel