Manuel Dunkel (b. 2.11.1971) comes from the city of Vantaa, Finland. Since mid-90´s he has established himself as one of the strongest voices in Finnish jazz scene. Dunkel´s playing is charcterized by rich saxophone sound, melodically strong lines and intense swing.

Dunkel got heavily into jazz in his teens, absorbed jazz language from the records and first studied first at the Oulunkylä Pop & Jazz Conservatory,  He was fascinated especially by saxophonist John Coltrane, who became one of Dunkel´s main influence. After the conservatory Dunkel entered the Sibelius-Academy jazz department in Helsinki, where he earned his Master´s degree in 2004 and teaches today.

Since 1994 he has been a member of the UMO Jazz Orchestra (the leading professional big band in Finland). In the 90´s Dunkel build his reputation as an adaptable and expressive musician in various musical settings from funk to straight-ahead jazz. Dunkel`s skills and intense playing were soon noted by public and critics, and as a result he received the Pekka Pöyry- saxophone award 1996 and was voted as" The Best Tenor Saxophonist " in Jazz Rytmit- magazine 1999-2001.

Dunkel started to lead his quartet in 1996. Since 1998 he has released four quartet- albums as a leader, containing mainly his original compositions. Dunkel´s quartet has toured several times in Finland and performed on international jazz festivals in Finland, France, Greece, Morocco and Serbia. The latest CD by Dunkel "A Step Forward " was released in February 2010 (with Alexi Tuomarila on piano, Ville Huolman on bass and Teppo Mäkynen on drums).

 In the early 2000`s Dunkel played  intensively with Jukka Perko & Hurmio Orchestra - a  Finnish band which recorded succesful CD for the Blue-Note and toured Far-East (Australia, China, Singapore, South-Korea and Thailand). 1998-2005 he toured several times  in Mid-Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland) with Finnish band Platypus Ensemble. 2001 he toured Finland and Sweden with his his scandinavian band TONIC, featuring Norwegian keyboardist Christian Wallumrød and  Swedish trumpeter Anders Bergcrantz.

Dunkel has performed as a featured soloist both in Finland and abroad such as a week long gig with a Japanese trio in Tokyo 2004 and a concert with Swiss guitarist Harald Haerter`s group in Finland 2005. 2000 he played as a soloist with the Estonian Dream Big Band.

Dunkel has performed with internationally renowed jazz musicians such as Paul Jackson, Rick Margitza, Eric Truffaz and Kenny Wheeler.

In 2009 in Helsinki Dunkel played as a soloist on a concerto "Time Freeze" for saxophone , string orchestra and percussion. This piece was composed by pianist-composer Sid Hille.


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