Thomas Winteler, born in Geneva on June 28 1965, started music first with the flute at the age of 6 and then with the clarinet at the age of 9. He won the first prize of clarinet virtuosity in the Conservatorium of Lausanne in 1987 and won several classical music contests in the eighties.
Discovering the clarinettist Johnny Dodds with his exceptional sound, Thomas began jazz at the age of 15 with the family orchestra "Old Time Gang", his father playing cornet, his mother piano and his sister banjo and trombone. A few years later Thomas also started to play alto saxophone, but really moved to soprano saxophone in his early thirties, being fascinated by Sidney Bechet’s music.
Thomas joined the Swiss band “Only Blue Stompers” in 1996 and won international jazz contests in Megève in 2001, and in St-Rafael in 2000 (nominated best soloist), 2003, 2006. He played at the Whitley Bay Jazz Festival in 2005.
He created the “South Side Jazz Serenaders” with René Hagmann in 1997 playing the late twenties south side style of Chicago and tunes from Bechet, Williams and Willie Smith the Lion. This band won several contests in France and played at several international jazz festivals, mainly in France and England.
In 2008, Thomas created his own band, using the rhythm section of the “South Side Jazz Serenaders” and adding Bent Persson from Sweden (among the best trumpet players in the style of Louis Armstrong in the whole of Europe) and Rodolphe Campomizzi who is a well known French trombone player (Bands: Jazzogène, Antracite). As a result, Louis Armstrong numbers from the Hot Five / Seven and from the thirties have been added to the repertoire, which is completed by themes by Sidney Bechet and Johnny Dodds.
With Jazz and Co., he organizes jazz concerts in Coppet, and he's in charge of the festival Rive Jazzy, which takes place each summer in Nyon by lake Geneva.