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George Gruntz Trio

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b. 24 June 1932, Basel, Switzerland. Gruntz first attracted attention at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, where he appeared as a pianist with the Marshall Brown International Youth Band (which also included Dusko Goykovich). In the early 60s he worked with several leading American jazzmen, including Dexter Gordon; later in the decade he was with Phil Woods in the latter’s European Rhythm Machine. In 1970 Gruntz was appointed musical director of the Zurich Schauspielhaus, a post he held until 1984, and from 1972 to 1994 he was artistic director of the Berlin Jazz Festival. In 1972 he co-founded a multi-national all-star big band with Flavio Ambrosetti, Franco Ambrosetti and Daniel Humair, which he has continued to lead under the name of the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, attracting a regular personnel of high quality musicians including Woods, Gordon, Woody Shaw, Lew Soloff, Ray Anderson, Eddie Daniels amongst others. Gruntz has also experimented with groups comprising multiple keyboard instruments (Piano Conclave), and played with forward-thinking jazz artists such as Don Cherry and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. More than most who have tried, Gruntz has been successful in crossing and recrossing the line between jazz and other musical forms. His compositions include symphonies, ballets and operas which stand alongside music written for all sizes of jazz groups. He has also written film scores and a jazz oratorio, ‘The Holy Grail Of Jazz And Joy’ (which appears on the album Theatre). His work always displays an inquiring and adventurous approach to jazz and has consistently chosen to push against accepted boundaries.


24 June 1932 in Basel, Switzerland

Years Active:

'60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s