Since his earliest days in the Sydney music scene in 1995, Emanuel Schmidt has continued to pursue his own musical voice through his playing and highly original compositions with determination. According to Emanuel's peers and educators, he is “an outstanding and versatile guitarist of exceptional ability, and an extraordinarily thoughtful and hard-working musician.” With his own projects or as a sideman, the native Swiss has shared the stage with many of Australia’s finest jazz musicians, including Gai Bryant, Miroslav Bukovsky, Andrew Dickeson, Sandy Evans, Toby Hall, Mark Harris, Paul McNamara, Gerard Masters, Craig Scott, Alister Spence, and Lloyd Swanton; as well as Cocho Arbe (ex-Alex Acuna), Alex Clements, Jeff Davis, Wayne DeSilva, Steve Flora, George Garzone, Jess Gopen, Tom Hall, and Paul Ringenbach in the USA.
An as yet untitled new septet studio project is rapidly gaining momentum - there are plenty of previously unrecorded original compositions waiting to see the light of day. Moonlit Questions(Indie/Schräägi Musig), a 2-CD debut set of original works released in 2007, received enthusiastic reviews: “Emanuel is clearly an excellent guitarist…lyrically impassioned, and with a beautiful sound” (John Clare, Sydney Morning Herald); “Just the way great jazz should be made, from the soul, expressing the feelings of the moment…”(Phil James, Eastside Radio); “...truly communicates. ★★★★” (Matt Bailey, 2MBS's Fine Music Magazine).
Aside from groups performing his original compositions, past and current projects include Emanuel’s Sydney Organ Trio with Darren Heinrich (organ) and Toby Hall (drums); Les Amis Gaulois, a second organ trio with French musicians Jean-Yves Jung (organ) and Jean-Marc Robin (drums); Contour, a trio with Alex Clements (piano and accordion) and Jeff Davis (bass); Fifty-Three (a duo with acclaimed harpist Kimberley Glennie); as well as Ten, a duo with German bassist Johannes Schaedlich.
In addition to leading his own projects, Emanuel was the guitarist for the outstanding Rapperswil-based Trigger Concert Big Band from 2017 to 2022, with whom he has performed alongside Spanish saxophonist Perico Sambeat, Swiss trumpeter Lukas Thoeni, Brazilian saxophonist Rodrigo Botter Maio, Belgian trumpeter Bert Joris, virtuoso accordionist Goran Kovačević, and rising star German composer and arranger, Jochen Neuffer.
Emanuel has also appeared live on Australian national television and his performances and interviews have aired on Eastside Radio, 2NSBFM, 2MBS-FM, 2SER, SBS Radio (Australia) and KUNV (Las Vegas). He lectured in Harmony, Composition and Arranging at the Wesley Institute in Sydney, was a member of the Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) and the Jazzgroove Association, and is currently a member of Jazzforschung (The International Society for Jazz Research, based in Graz, Austria). From 2012-2014, Emanuel was a lecturer of Advanced Musicianship and Ear Training as well as Jazz Guitar at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), served on the boards of both Vegas Jazz and the American Jazz Initiative and is an experienced educator, writer and composer. In 2014, he returned to Europe to continue his performance and teaching career in Germany. In 2016, he returned to his native Switzerland, where he first continued his career based in Zürich, and now in Chur (Graubünden). He is busy writing material for the upcoming studio album, performing with his projects, and teaching.
Brunner Guitars Endorsement
In April 2019, I started building a Baritone guitar during a workshop with Lukas Brunner. It is now finished and the results are both sonically and aesthetically absolutely amazing. It is one-of-a-kind pure guitaristic bliss. See here for images. Audio / Video to follow.
Eastman Guitars Endorsement
Eastman make wonderful jazz guitars both traditional and modern, as well as steel string acoustic instruments. I play the following Eastman Guitars and Mandolins: PG-1, El Rey ER4, T184MX, AC822-CE-FF, and MD 805 PGE. I particularly love playing the PG-1, designed for Eastman by Swiss luthier couple Claudio and Claudia Pagelli, and the El Rey ER4.