Photo © Cheryl Hills

Photo © Cheryl Hills


Claire de Brunner first played the bassoon at the age of 14, and was soon awarded a scholarship to study with the principal bassoonist of the NY Philharmonic and to attend the Dalcroze School of Music. She later attended the High School of Music and Art where she earned a scholarship to study at North Carolina School of the Arts. She went on to study with Stephen Maxym at the Manhattan School of Music and played in various orchestras and chamber ensembles before deciding to venture beyond the classical arena.

In the 1980s she answered an ad in the Village Voice, which called for a musician who loved Kafka, Captain Beefheart and Lennie Tristano, having no idea who the latter two were at that time, and shortly thereafter became a founding member of 101 Crustaceans, an integral band of the post-punk era in NYC. She later joined Church of Betty, another seminal band at that time. She played at the major venues of the era including the Knitting Factory, Sidewalk Café, Pyramid, ABC No Rio, Dixon Place, CBGB and has recorded CDs with both bands.

In the early 90s, having been encouraged to build on her ability to improvise, she studied jazz improvisation with saxophonist Lee Konitz and pianist Connie Crothers. She found herself, in effect, having to learn an entirely new instrument and it was nearly a decade before she began to feel a sense of mastery in the genre.

She has since played with many notable musicians including Ed Pastorini, Ras Moshe, Connie Crothers, Francois Grillot, Daniel Carter, Matt Lavelle, Cheryl Richards, Chris Rael, Carol Liebowitz, Oren Bloedow, Ken Filiano, Blaise Siwula, Deep Singh, Adam Caine, Pete Drungle, Blaise Siwula, Virg Dzurinko, Kevin Norton, Claire Daly, Nick Lyons and Mara Rosenbloom, to name a few.

In 2010 she co-produced the CD Macroscopia, which was released on the Metier label and features a quartet comprising New York free jazz musicians.

She continues to play at music venues in NY such as The Firehouse Space, BAMcafe, IBeam, Barbes, Issue Project Room, The Stone, Roulette and Scholes St. Studio, among others.

While her musical development is varied, it reflects the natural outgrowth of the ongoing pursuit and exploration of her deepest passion.