Kurt Rosenwinkel

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Kurt Rosenwinkel
Rosenwinkel performing in November 2018
Rosenwinkel performing in November 2018
Background information
Born (1970-10-28) October 28, 1970 (age 52)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Instrument(s)Guitar, piano
Years active1990–present
LabelsVerve, ArtistShare, Wommusic, Heartcore

Kurt Rosenwinkel (born October 28, 1970) is an American jazz guitarist, keyboardist, composer, bandleader, producer, educator and record label owner.


A native of Philadelphia, Rosenwinkel attended the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. He studied at Berklee College of Music for two and a half years before leaving in his third year to tour with Gary Burton, the dean of the school at the time. After moving to Brooklyn, he began performing with Human Feel, Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band,[1] Joe Henderson, and the Brian Blade Fellowship.

In 1995 he won the Composer's Award from the National Endowment for the Arts and was signed by Verve. Since then, he has played and recorded as a leader and sideman with Mark Turner, Brad Mehldau, Joel Frahm, and Brian Blade. He collaborated with Q-Tip, who co-produced his studio album Heartcore that includes bassist Ben Street, drummer Jeff Ballard, and saxophonist Mark Turner. He played guitar on Q-Tip's albums The Renaissance and Kamaal/The Abstract.

Rosenwinkel in April 2010

In 2008 The Remedy was released, recorded with saxophonist Mark Turner, pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Joe Martin, and drummer Eric Harland. On November 10, 2009, he released a trio recording, Standards Trio: Reflections, with bassist Eric Revis and drummer Eric Harland. On September 7, 2010, he released Kurt Rosenwinkel & OJM: Our Secret World and with OJM an 18-piece big band from Porto, Portugal. His album Star of Jupiter was recorded with pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Justin Faulkner.[2] He is on the faculty at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler.

In 2016, Rosenwinkel formed the independent music label Heartcore Records and began producing as well as performing. He self-produced his eleventh album, 2017's Caipi, and was involved as a producer and guitarist on Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Pedro Martin’s 2019 release Vox.


Rosenwinkel's influences include John Coltrane, Bud Powell, David Bowie, Joe Henderson, Charlie Parker, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, Allan Holdsworth, Tal Farlow, George Van Eps, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, and Alex Lifeson.[3]

The Jazz Book calls Rosenwinkel "a visionary composer, with an infinitely sensitive way of layering electronic sounds, borrowed from ambient music, dub, and drum and bass, and manipulating them intelligently."[1]


Rosenwinkel has played a D'Angelico New Yorker, a Sadowsky semi-hollow body, a Gibson ES-335, guitars made by Italian luthier Domenico Moffa, and a signature model made by Westville Guitars.

Rosenwinkel has used a variety of effects, including: Neunaber WET Stereo Reverb, Strymon Timeline, Strymon Mobius, Strymon Blue Sky Reverb, Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo, Digitech Vocalist, Thegigrig HumDinger, Rockett Allan Holdsworth, Empress ParaEQ, Pro Co RAT distortion, TC Electronic Nova Reverb, Lehle D. Loop Effect-loop/Switcher, Malekko Echo 600 Dark, Old World Audio 1960 Compressor, Electro-Harmonix HOG Polyphonic Guitar Synthesizer, Eventide TimeFactor Delay, Xotic X-Blender Effects Loops, Empress Tremolo, Lehle Parallel line mixer, TC Electronic SCF stereo chorus flanger, and Boss Corporation OC-3 octave, Strymon Riverside, Eventide H9, EHX Pog 2, Source Audio EQ, among others.[4] He has also used a Lavalier lapel microphone fed into his guitar amplifier[5] that blends his vocalizing with his guitar.


Kurt Rosenwinkel performing with Aarhus Jazz Orchestra dir. Geir Lysne, Denmark 2016

As leader/co-leader[edit]

  • 1992: Do It 1992 with Scott Kinsey (Heartcore, 2019)[limited edition]
  • 1996: East Coast Love Affair (Fresh Sound, 1996) – live
  • 1996: The Enemies of Energy (Verve, 2000)
  • 1998: Intuit (Criss Cross, 1999)
  • 2000: The Next Step (Verve, 2001)
  • 2001–03: Heartcore (Verve, 2003)
  • 2005: Deep Song (Verve, 2005)
  • 2006: The Remedy (ArtistShare, 2008)[2CD] – live
  • 2009: Reflections (Wommusic, 2009)
  • 2009: Our Secret World (Wommusic, 2010)
  • 2012: Star of Jupiter (Wommusic, 2012)[2CD]
  • 2007–17: Caipi (Razdaz, 2017)
  • 2017–18: Bandit 65: Searching the Continuum (Heartcore, 2019) – live
  • 2020: Angels Around (Heartcore, 2020)
  • 2020: Plays Piano (Heartcore, 2021)
  • 2021: Heartcore (Heartcore, 2021)[2LP]
  • 2022: The Chopin Project with Jean-Paul Brodbeck (Heartcore, 2022)
  • 2022: Berlin Baritone (Heartcore, 2022)
  • 2023: Undercover (Live at the Village Vanguard (Heartcore, 2023)

As group[edit]

Human Feel
With Chris Speed, Andrew D'Angelo and Jim Black

  • 1991: Scatter (GM, 1991)
  • 1994: Welcome to Malpesta (New World, 1994)
  • 1996?: Speak to It (Songlines, 1996)
  • 2006: Galore (Skirl, 2007)
  • 2017: Gold (Intakt, 2019)


With Roman Ott Inner Shape

With Orchestra de Jazz de Matoshinhos (OJM)

  • Our Secret World (Wommusic, 2010) – recorded in 2009

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ a b Berendt, Joachim-Ernst; Huesmann, Gunther (2009). The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to the 21st Century (7 ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Lawrence Hill Books. p. 432. ISBN 978-1-55652820-0.
  2. ^ Kelman, John (10 December 2012). "Kurt Rosenwinkel: Star of Jupiter". Allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  3. ^ Panken, Ted. "IN CONVERSATION WITH KURT ROSENWINKEL". Jazz.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  4. ^ Milkowski, Bill. "Kurt Rosenwinkel". Guitarplayer.com. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Kurt Rosenwinkel: Emerging Brilliance". Allaboutjazz.com. 16 May 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  6. ^ Newcomb, Brian Q. (February 11, 2019). "Crane Like the Bird: Crane Like the Bird". thefirenote.com.

External links[edit]