Biography: Born in 1967 Olaf started saxophone at the age of 17 and studied Jazz at Arizona State University Phoenix, AZ in1989/1990. He became Leader of the University BigBand of Tübingen from 1993 to1996 and majored in jazz studies at the University of Mannheim between 1996 and 2000. Olaf started his own record label Jazz’n’Arts Records and Rodenstein Records in 2000.
Olaf has played alongside with Allen Blairman, Jochen Brauer, Carolyn Breuer, Bobby Burgess Bigband Explosion, Joe Gallardo, Herb Geller, Kicks´n Sticks Bigband, Kosho (Michael Koschorreck), Frank Kuruc, Emil Mangelsdorff, Mannheim Jazz Bigband, Al Martino, Fritz Münzer, Rainer Tempel Bigband, Valery Ponomarev, Vitoslav Rek, Ack van Royen, SAP Bigband, Maria Schneider, Thomas Siffling, Alex Sipiagin, Russ Spiegel Bigband, Rolf Stahlhofen, Thomas Stabenow, Klaus Wagenleiter, Thilo Wagner and the Würzburg Jazz Orchestra.
He has played many festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival Den Haag, Montreux Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Jazzfestival Toulon (France), Deutsches Jazzfest in Frankfurt, Jazzfestival Szeged (Hungary), Perugia Festival d’Estate (Italy) and the Leipziger Jazztage.
Aside from Jazz Olaf has also performed with the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz (Bernstein, Ravel), Orchester des Badischen Staatstheater Karlsruhe (Strawinsky), SWR Orchester Kaiserslautern (Gershwin) and Mannheimer Bläserphilharmonie. Finally, Olaf did substantial theatre work: Sommertheater Ettlingen (Cage aux Folles, 2003), Capitol Mannheim (Cabaret, 2004), Staatstheater Karlsruhe ("Dreamtime" according to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, 2004), Sommertheater Staatstheater Karlsruhe (Happy End, Kurt Weill, 2004), Theater Heidelberg (Ballhaus, 2004), Staatstheater Karlsruhe (Käthchen von Heilbronn, Kleist, 2006) and (Rue de Lourcine, 2008)
Albums: Olaf’s recordings include: Greatest Hits Vol.1 and Calm before a storm (Modern Walkin', 1994), as well as Live in Japan (Modern Walkin', 1995). With the Rainer Tempel BigBand he did Vorwärts und zurück (1996) and Ups and downs (1997). Thereafter he released Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival (Mannheim Jazz Orchestra, 1999), Jazz Changes? (Changes, 2000), Smiling in the dark (Fridge People, 2001), Open your eyes (Kicks’n Sticks, 2003) and Mira (Acoustic Affaire, 2003). Lately he recorded Like back in the days (Blairman/Schönborn/Simpson, 2005), Inside (Hofmann/ Schönborn/Wangenheim, 2005), Road Movie (Fridge People, 2006), Geistesgegenwart (Sarah Kaiser, 2006), The Music of Hank Mobley (Hi Voltage, 2007) and Radio Jazz (Olaf Schönborn’s Q4, 2008).
Favourite Albums: SteveMc Queen (Prefab Sprout), all the albums of the Beatles and of Cannonball Adderley