Clarinetist, Saxophonist & Radio Host

GRAMMY Award Winner 2019 (with Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats)

Linus Wyrsch has become one of New York City’s most sought-after clarinetists and saxophonists. Full of vigorous passion for jazz, Brazilian and Latin music, the Swiss native maintains a busy performance and recording schedule as a sideman and as a leader of his own groups. With countless performances under his belt, Linus (born 1987) brings a versatile yet distinctive quality to a variety of projects. Audiences in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America have been exhilarated by his heartwarming sounds. He has shared the stage among others with Cesar Camargo Mariano as well as Oscar Castro-Neves (two originators of the Bossa Nova genre), noted film composers Alan Silvestri and Howard Shore, and several of the world’s top jazz and Latin musicians such as Bucky Pizzarelli, Andy McGhee, David Hazeltine, Gene Bertoncini, Hendrik Meurkens, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, the Gregorio Uribe Big Band, Harvie S, Clarence Penn, Grégoire Maret, …
To date, Linus can be heard on more than 20 albums, including his recent duo release “Live at Villa Irniger” with Swiss pianist Claude Diallo.

Upon graduating summa cum laude from Boston’s Berklee College of Music in 2008, Linus moved to the Big Apple. He promptly stepped into the spotlight by turning BreakThru Radio’s show “The Jazz Hole” into a popular program among jazz fans and musicians. Being an actual part of the scene enabled him to provide listeners with a unique backstage pass. Now in his eighth year as producer and host of the show, he interviews high-caliber guests and mainly highlights the New Yorker jazz scene. 

Born and raised near Lucerne, Switzerland, Linus was still too young when he first had the desire to pick up the clarinet. Next to nearly a decade of intensive classical lessons with Christa Schneider, he found himself drawn to improvised music as well. Lessons with Peter Wespi, an established jazz saxophonist and educator, were added to his schedule. Additionally, he pursued lessons with Roland von Flüe at the Jazz School Lucerne during two semesters. After gaining experience as a performer, Linus would play more regularly with his father Urs Wyrsch, a semi-professional bassist – often with well-known guests. A recommendation by saxophonist Javon Jackson finalized Linus’ intention to attend Berklee College of Music. Preparations under the mentorship of Swiss musicians Peter Wespi and Pius Baumgartner began and thanks to the support of his parents and teachers, Linus moved to Boston to attend Berklee in 2006. He quickly made a name for himself as a clarinetist and received a Berklee Achievement Scholarship. During his time in Boston, Linus recorded and performed extensively, while having the chance to learn from renowned teachers Frank Tiberi, Daniel Ian Smith, Mark Shilansky, Fred Lipsius, Fernando Brandao, Oscar Stagnaro and more.

Photo credit: Kevin Harkins

With a depth of feeling that belies his disciplined classical technique, Wyrsch demonstrates why it’s past time for this expressive but long-overlooked instrument to return to the fore.
Linus sounds great and I really like the direction he is going into.
— Andy McGhee (Saxophonist with Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman)
Linus is moving toward a formidable career.
— Javon Jackson (Tenor Saxophonist with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Les McCann, Freddie Hubbard)
You always make people happy.
— Gene Bertoncini (Guitarist with Benny Goodman, Wayne Shorter, Tony Bennett, …)
During the period at Berklee College of Music as a student, I considered him to be a talented clarinetist and determined to achieve his mark as being the greatest, and I see without a doubt, he has arrived.
— Frank Tiberi (hand-picked leader of the Woody Herman Orchestra)
... a mean clarinet player.”
— David Greenberg (Director of Marketing at Ted Kurland Associates)