Mathias Kunzli – Drummer / Percussionist

Drummer/percussionist Mathias Kunzli is one of the Swiss Youth Jazz Orchestra’s earlier generations of young musicians that is successful in the international music scene. We’re proud to feature him in this segment and wish him continued success that is well deserved.
Hailing from Switzerland, multi-disciplined drummer/percussionist Mathias Kunzli currently splits his time between Los Angeles and New York City. He can be found around the globe performing in a variety of styles, with artists and bands of many genres.

Mathias has been Regina Spektor’s touring drummer since April 2012. His first shows with her were during an arena tour, opening for the late Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Music has guided Kunzli’s career trajectory for over two decades. Born in Switzerland in 1975, Mathias started to play drums at age thirteen and soon he got involved with several local rock, pop and folk groups and became the drummer for the Swiss Youth Jazz Orchestra, a national group that toured Switzerland and Italy, for five consecutive years.

In 1995, Kunzli received two scholarships from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music and moved to the United States. After graduating in he relocated to New York City.

Mathias is grateful for having had the privilege of studying with a great and diverse roster of teachers including Jamey Haddad, Zohar Fresco, Joe Hunt, Ian Froman, Giovanni Hidalgo, Adam Nussbaum, Danny Gottlieb, Tommy Campbell, Hal Crook, Greg Hopkins, Marco Kaeppeli and Fritz Renold.

Kunzli’s desire and ability to adapt to a wide range of musical styles have enabled him to tour internationally. He has appeared in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, arenas, and festivals including Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Radio City Music Hall, Bercy, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Nokia Theater, Esplanade Theater, Cesaria, Tempodrom, Wolftrap, Blue Note NYC, Ryman Auditorium, BAM, KKL, Symphony Space, PBS Soundstage Chicago, Wiener Konzerthaus, Barbican Centre, Kennedy Center, Town Hall NYC.
Newport Folk Festival, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Central Park Summer Stage, Way Out West Festival, Winter Jazz Festival, Tri-C Jazz Festival, Molde Jazz Festival, Sziget Festival, Stockholm Jazz, Rock Werchter Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival, Glatt und Verkehrt Jazz Festival, SF Jazz Festival, Pukkelpop, Blue Balls Festival, Festival Cumber Tajin, Jewish Culture Festival Krakow, Sephardic Music Festival, Tzadik Poznan Festival.

National TV appearances in the US include: Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Colbert Report, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Late Late Show with James Corden, The Late Show with Stephan Colbert and Good Morning America.

In 2014 Mathias released his first album. “Playground” is a live recording of an all-improvised solo-show in NYC.

Mathias has had the chance to perform/record with Regina Spektor, Moby, Lauryn Hill, Yo-Yo Ma Silk Road Ensemble, Vieux Farka Toure, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, The Paul Winter Consort, Alessandra Belloni, Hal Crook, Jamey Haddad, Savina Yannatou, Lenny Hochmann, Yanka Roupkina, Gina Gershon, Keyhan Kalhor, Mark Gould, Mary Wilson, Steve Gorn, Howard Johnson, Brooklyn Rider, Theodosii Spassov, Bakithi Kumalo, Tony Cedras, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Matt Dariau, Frank London, Dominick Farinacci, Andy Allo, Steff La Cheffe, Erika Stucky, Magos Herrera.  Learn more about Mathias!

Here’s Mathias in his element!

Mathias Kunzli has been busy and continues to play in all kinds of setting around the world and quite versatile stylistically too.

Here’s just a mere handful of selected links that he’s shared with us, promising to send more our way!

With Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble

With Regina Spektor at Electric Lady Studio

With Regina Spektor live at Sound Stage, Chicago

An album with Nina Violet

A Pop/Americana album, Carry Illinois

A Perc Solo with Vlada Tomova’s Balkan Tales

A Solo Perc-show in Berne, Switzerland

Mathias Kunzli’s improvised live Solo Album “Playground”

Pop album, Maya Isacowitz

An improvised Solo-show in NYC

Mixed World Music album, Etymon

Old school Funky Album, Blivet