Sebastian Schunke receives Cubadisco 2024 nomination – Photos


Existencial Intensities by pianist, composer, arranger Sebastian Schunke has been nominated for the prestigious Cubadisco Awards (2024) in the International Co-Production category.

As part of the Cubadisco Awards 2024 programming Sebastian Schunke is performing the music of Existential Intensities at Sala Teatro Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana. Schunke will be joined on stage by the legendary Rumba ensemble Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Grupo Ojundegara, who participated in the recording of the nominated album.

For more than 20 years, Sebastian Schunke has been an energetic part of the international jazz scene. Schunke is one of the young leading Jazz composers and pianists worldwide, based in Berlin. As a soloist and with his groups he always creates a fresh new sound, unifying the modern Berlin Jazz with Latin American elements. Sebastian unites jazz musicians of international renown, coming from a variety of cultures: Paquito D’Rivera, Antonio Sanchez, Pernell Saturnino, Nils Wogram, Dafnis Prieto, John Benitez, Yosvany Terry, Richie Flores, Alex Sipiagin and Pernell Saturnino have all been part of his group and contributed to his unique sound.

With eight international acclaimed CDs as a band leader and several tours to Asia, South America, Central America, Europe and the US – Schunke has achieved a distinguished name in the Jazz community. Sebastian is the first European Musician who has developed his own international acclaimed Euro Latin Style.

Sebastian Schunke: Existential Intensities with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas

On Existential Intensities Mr Schunke enters a musical dialogue with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, the Cuban rumba ensemble driven by the powerful, rolling thunder of guaguancó, yambú, columbia and abakuá. The album also features two encounters with Grupo Ojundegara, a vocal ensemble comprising musicians of Dahomey descent, also from Matanzas, and specializing in music based on spectacular ritual chants arising out of their Dahomeyan origin known as Arará.

Mr Schunke’s existential pursuit is unveiled in a three-part sequence entitled “Epilog,” which in turn, forms the glue that fuses the pianist free-form improvisations based on the western modes, and spread across the album comprising three other original works – performed by the group Berlin Brew, comprising bassist Nick Dunstan, drummer Moritz Baumgärtner, percussion colourist Robby Geerken and saxophonist Philipp Gropper. And three tracks with Trois Femmes, comprising Yodfat Miron, Laure Maurat and Isabelle Klemt.

The resultant music is of secular nature, which content contrasts with the syncretized spiritual nature of the chants into which Mr Schunke’s music fuses itself, forming the DNA of what become his Existential Intensities.

Sebastian Schunke and Los Muñequitos de Matanzas

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