Uli Wunner Norman Emberson Thomas L'Etienne


Reed players Thomas l’Etienne and Uli Wunner have been close friends and musical associates for most of their musical careers. Finally in 2003 they decided to found their own band in order to create an appropriate vehicle for their musical ideas and concepts. In 2004 Norman Emberson, former drummer with the Chris Barber band, one of Europe’s leading New Orleans stylists and an old friend, became a steady member of the group.

The creative variety of the music the virtuosity of their playing and the tangible warmth of their performances have made the “Creole Clarinets” a requested feature on many major jazz e.g. festivals all over Europe, e.g. in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Norway and Italy.

The musical congeniality between Uli and Thomas has caused audiences and critics refer to them as “the twins”. Their musical understanding has been called “telepathic” by the press.

All three artists have their musical roots in the traditional New Orleans style and only very few Europeans have been able capture the feeling of that music like them. Thomas’ and Uli’s playing is strongly influenced by the Creole school of the New Orleans clarinet playing. Frequent and long trips to the City on the Mississippi (New Orleans was Thomas l’Etienne’s second residence for nearly 20 years), have also made them stay in close personal and artistic touch with today’s New Orleans music scene. The music of the Crescent City is an integrate part of their repertoire.

For the last ten years one can find more and more elements of Brazilian music, and particularly choro music (the "New Orleans jazz of Brazil") in the repertoire and the musical concept of the group. Thomas has been spending at least 3 months every year living and playing in Rio de Janeiro and has enthused both Uli and Norman for this music. Recently Brazilian musician friends have also joined the Creole Clarinets on tours.