Having lived and studied in Switzerland, France, England and the United States, Swiss-born Emanuel Schmidt moved to Australia in early 1991 for his music studies after discovering his passion for guitar. Emanuel received a Bachelor of Arts (Music Performance) with Honors from the Wesley Institute in Sydney, where he was also a recipient of Awards for Excellence in Music Production and in Composition. Emanuel attended the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1995 to study Advanced Jazz Improvisation and Big Band Performance. In 1997, he studied Music Performance, Composition, Music Technology, and Musicology at the University of Western Sydney. Emanuel then returned to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and in 2005 completed his Ph.D. in “Communication Processes in Jazz Performance” and was a recipient of the Margaret Henderson scholarship for his research work. In 2014, he completed his Master of Music Education at UNLV. Emanuel has studied jazz guitar with Carl Orr, Guy Strazz, Peter O’Mara, Jeremy Sawkins, James Muller, and Joe Marghilano (ex-Frank Sinatra); Jazz Arranging with Joe Marghilano and Tom Warrington; composition with Diego Vega; and he has attended master classes by Chick Corea and Dave Liebman.

An excellent and experienced musician, Emanuel has performed at clubs, schools and festivals - for intimate crowds as well as for thousands - in Australia, Switzerland and in the USA. 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.” Emanuel's bands have featured many of Australia’s finest jazz musicians, including Simon Barker, Miroslav Bukovsky, Andrew Dickeson, Sandy Evans, Toby Hall, Mark Harris, Paul McNamara, Gerard Masters, Craig Scott, Alister Spence, and Lloyd Swanton. One of his groups, Jabbôq Jazz, won the 2006 and 2008 Australian Achiever Award in the Entertainment category. Emanuel has recorded live and in-studio and has maintained several residencies. Emanuel’s quartet was featured in the 2000 EIGHT O’CLOCK SHARP: Jazz In The Round series showcasing Sydney jazz guitarists and their bands. From 2008 until 2009, Emanuel was Jazz Artist in Residence at Sydney venue 72 Erskine, where most of his eleven concerts sold out.

From 2010 to 2014, Emanuel lived and performed in Las Vegas with the Las Vegas Mystery Band/the Las Vegas Collective, the Las Vegas World Jazz Orchestra, the Buddy Charles Jazz Orchestra, the Outside in Trio, and musicians including Cocho Arbe (ex-Alex Acuna), Alex Clements, Jeff Davis, Wayne DeSilva, Steve Flora, George Garzone, Jess Gopen, Tom Hall, Derek Jones, and Paul Ringenbach, among many others. In September 2012, Emanuel debuted his own group to a packed house at the E-String in Las Vegas, and he also sold out the debut performance for his new original music project, FARERO. Two additional projects, CONTOUR and FIFTY-THREE (with acclaimed harpist Kimberley Glennie) have been very well received.


Described by The Australian Music Centre's Ian Shanahan as an “accomplished and imaginative composer,” Emanuel has written for full orchestra and performs reflective, emotive, and adventurous original compositions with his groups. His most recent large composition is a non-tonal Suite for Solo Guitar (2013).
Emanuel has performed in the musical ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ (1995) and toured throughout Australia with the multi-award-winning Company B production, ‘Keating! The Musical’ (2007). During his time in Las Vegas, he has also performed the guitar/ukulele/kalimba parts on Disney’s multi-award-winning ‘Lion King’ as a sub.

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… thoughtful and 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).

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 has lectured in Harmony, Composition and Arranging, 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). Until recently, Emanuel was a lecturer of Advanced Musicianship and Jazz Guitar at UNLV, served on the boards of both Vegas Jazz and the American Jazz Initiative and is an experienced educator and writer. 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 continues his career based in Zürich. He is busy writing material for an upcoming studio album, performing with the Trigger Concert Big Band, and teaching.

Emanuel endorses Eastman Guitars.