Contrabassist and composer Thomas Stabenow (b. 1952 in Kirchberg an der Jagst, Germany) first studied clarinet. He began playing bass at the age of 21, and studied music education at the State University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart. From 1986 to 1998, he was a member of one of Europe’s most prestigious big bands, Peter Herbolzheimer Rhythm Combination and Brass. In the 1980’s Stabenow formed several of his own groups, including the Munich Jazz Orchestra. He has worked and recorded with the likes of Chaka Kahn, Al Jarreau, Eartha Kitt, Dianne Reeves und Rob McConell. Stabenow is professor of jazz contrabass at the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts.