Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Kunkel, Dr. Burkard
Kunkel, Dr. Burkard, bassethorn, zither, bass clarinet, voice, composition; b. W'rzburg, Germany, 17 July 1967. His parents live in Heigenbrucken, a little village, near Aschaffenburg. His father is Walter Kunkel, born 1941. He is a tax officer and works in Aschaffenburg. He sometimes plays guitar Bavarian folk music. His mother is Marianne Kunkel, born 1941. She is an owner of a guest house in Heigenbrucken/ Spessart. She likes Bavarian folk music. His brother, Guido Kunkel, born 1965, is a teacher and is living also in Heigenbrucken. He plays accordion (Bavarian folk music). Kunkel is married to Birgit Kraus, born 1969, a neurologist who grew up in Forst near Schweinfurt. She plays piano.
Kunkel grew up in a little village in the Spessart (Bavaria), Heigenbr'cken, near Aschaffenburg. At the age of 7, he took lessons in zither. His first concerts in 1974 were in old-age asylums and native evenings. At the age of 10, he began piano lessons for 9 years at a musical school in Aschaffenburg. From the age of 15-19 he was singing psalms in church and Gregorian choral and madrigals. At the age of 16, Kunkel started with alto saxophone. First compositions were for string orchestra and saxophone. After school, he studied theology and philosophy in Innsbruck/ Austria. He performed many concerts in Austria with the local soul-funk-band "Supershuts." In 1988, he began studying medicine in W'rzburg. In 1991, he moved to Frankfurt/Main. At this time, he began exclusive dedication to the bass clarinet, influenced by Eric Dolphy and Michel Pilz. He was in contact to the free improvising scene of Frankfurt, performing concerts with R'diger Carl, Annemarie Roelofs in the Main- Quartet (recordings on CD of R. Carl "Song book- virtual cows").
Concerts with the bassclarinet player Michel Pilz from Luxembourg. With compositions for two bassclarinets award of the Frankfurt jazz- stipendium in 1996. He decided to travel to Finnland to study the Finnish and samish folk music. Burkard met in Helsinki the famous Finnish accordion player Maria Kalaniemi. After this journey he decided to learn more about the own Bavarian home. He went back to the zither, looking for new sounds. Further collaboration with the artist group Magdalena inc. (Chris Dell, Ruth Hommelsheim, Wolfgang G'ttler), the dance theatre of Frankfurt, Heinz Sauer, Tony Lakatos, Alfred Harth, Jrg Fischer, Jrg M'hlhaus, Markus Diehl, Walter Bareither, Wolfgang Stryi, Arni Arnold, Bertram Ritter, Frank Mbus, Steve Potts, J'rgen Wuchner, Rudi Mahall, Daniel Erdmann, Christoph Korn, B'lent Ates, Esther Balacz, and the free jazz band iB-Shopi from Warsaw/Poland.
Since 1996, he's done intensive work with Markus Becker (piano). They founded the quartett "Atlantic Auge" (Kunkel- bcl, zither, Becker-piano, John Schrder- drums, Christian Ramond n bass). The music is influenced by Jazz, improvising music, Free jazz, New Music, D&B, Folk, Baroque and Hip Hop.
In 1998 he founded the duo "Gold" with accordion player R'diger Carl (zithern accordeon-duo). From 1998 to 2001 he worked with the dada sound- poet Dirk H'lstrunk. In 2000 he founded the duo "Vagant" (avant-garde hip hop) with Peter Fey, an electronic musician. In 2001 he founded with Markus Becker the bass clarinet-piano-duo "duel de rosee." He also moved to Regensburg.
In 2002 he started with the bassethorn, an instrument that has his origin in the Bavarian town Passau in 1760. He worked since 1996 as a physician in a few hospitals mostly in Bavaria. Dr. Kunkel decided to work as a child psychiatrist and as a musician. Since 1988 he is living with his wife Birgit Kraus together. She is a neurologist. On May 3, 2002 his son, Roman, was born in Munich.
In 2003 Kunkel will collaborate with the brothers Marcin and Bartlomieij Olles from Poland.
Kunkel/Fischer/M'hlhaus (1997); Atlantic Auge: Atlantic Auge (1999), Schnee inO (2001); Duel de rosee (2002); Gold (2002); Gold 2 (2003); Vagrant (2003)
Trio Royal (1995); R'diger Carl: Song book- Main quartett (1998)