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Manfred Schoof grew up perfecting his innovative jazz style, often practicing on either his jazz trumpet or his flügelhorn. By the time he reached high school, Schoof was composing his own arrangements. In 1955, Schoof decided to purse a musical career, enrolling in the Music Academy (Musikakademie) at Kassel. After studying and performing there for three years, he moved to further his studies at the Cologne Musikhochschule. While there, Schoof took a jazz class by Kurt Edelhagen, a West German bandleader who also had his own radio program. Schoof and Edelhagen established a musical connection, with the pupil contributing to the teacher's Radio Big Band radio show. At the same time, Schoof began touring with Gunter Hampel. In 1965, Schoof created a free jazz quintet with Gerd Dudek and Alex Von Schlippenbach. It would be the foundation for another band he formed in 1969, the Manfred Schoof Orchestra. The group toured throughout Germany and Europe, featuring Evan Parker and Irène Schweizer, among others. In 1969, he joined the George Russell Orchestra and stayed with the band until 1971. Throughout the next two decades, Schoof expanded his musical horizons, recording and performing with several groups, including Global Unity Orchestra and Jasper Van't Hof. He also began composing classical music pieces, often composing them for the Berlin Philharmonic.