Born in 1951, Roman Bunka´s biography may be considered a chapter in contemporary German music history. Working with the pioneering German rock-jazz and world-music group Embryo he broke new ground with his Eastern-influenced guitar playing and composing. In 1976 he performed in concert for the first time with world-renowned percussionist Trilok Gurtu in India. In the seventies and eighties  he performed with Embryo in India, Afghanistan, Turkey and Marocco.

To pursue his musical development in a microtonal and modal direction, Bunka discovered the Arabic lute or „Oud“, the fretless mother of the guitar. His first solo album presented a blend of avant-garde rock with Oriental melodies. After concerts with Okay Temiz in Turkey, Bunka chose Cairo as his musical refuge in the Arab world during the eighties.  There he met the immensely popular Egyptian singer Mohammed Mounir.  They began a collaboration that was to influence the course of Egyptian pop music, lending a note of sophistication and international influence to the genre.  With concerts in Tunis, Cairo, Damascus, Aleppo, Beirut and Sanaa, Bunka brought his  very personal journey to explore the world of Oriental music closer to a growing world-music audience.

Roman Bunka composed the score and provided musical direction for the feature film "Al Oud". While shooting, he became involved with the violin virtuoso Abdo Dagir from Cairo, and was largely responsible for introducing the works of this master composer and musician to the Western world. He studied under Abdo Dagir and toured with his ensemble throughout Europe and Egypt. Bunka composed and produced film-music for the film-directors Heiner Stadler, Frieder Schlaich, Fritz Baumann, Maria Knilli, Josef Rödl, Herbert Brödl, Matti Bauer, Werner Penzel and Doris Dörrie. His award-winning work also includes the live recording of his project "Color Me Cairo" featuring the egyptian pianist and Grammy-winner Fathy Salama and Malachi Favors from the legendary "Art Ensemble of Chicago" (ENJA-records). Crossing over to yet another media, Bunka composed the music for several radio-plays. To celebrate the new millennium, he participated together with Mal Waldron, Jeanne Lee, Tri-O and Blixa Bargeld in Grace Yoon´s multimedia-event and Live Radio-play "Illusion of the end".

He performed and recorded with the German Ethno-pop group "Dissidenten", "Ich und Ich", Flamenco legend Tomatito, "The Karnataka College of Percussion", Hubl Greiner, saxophonists Charlie Mariano, Edgar Hofmann, John Tchicai, Monty Waters and Roland Schaeffer, clarinet virtuoso Gabrielle Mirabassi, nay-players Claudia Ott and Sayed Abu-Sheffa, kawala maestro Abdallah Helmi, the singers Stepanida Borisova, Sainkho Namchilak, Fadia El-Hage, Lidia Borda, Mohamed Badawi and Hamid Baroudi, percussionists Limpe Fuchs, Rhani Krija, Ramesh Shotam, Salah Ragab, Ayman Mabrouk, Pierre Favre and Bijan Chemirani, bassists Ronan Guilfoyle, Dine Doneff and Norbert Dömling, pianists Mal Waldron and Francesco Turrisi and the Iraki Djose-player Bassem Hawar. With the Argentinean guitarist and composer Luis Borda, Bunka creates a mix of tango and arabic music, their project „Orientacion“ was released on ENJA-records. As a Soloist he participates in the projects of the modern european composers Rupert Huber, Jürgen Grözinger and Klaus Huber.

In 2013, he cooperated with the film-director Janek Romero for the Feature Documentary "City of Sounds", a musical journey Bunka`s through Cairo. He was honoured in 2014, by his hometown Munich with the "Schwabing Art Award" and in 2015, he was chosen by Europe's biggest African Music Festival in Würzburg for their "Africa Festival Award".

"....... there, between his fingers, the modi and scales of the arabic mystic meet with the electrifying ease of the urban Bluesmen. Roman Bunka is the mediator and the center of a world-music fusion, call it success, joy or utopia if you want to describe it!"


with Embryo and Trilok Gurtu 1976


with Luis Borda and Jost Hecker

with Mohamed Mounir

with Bassem Hawar

with Abdo Dagir

with Xizhie Nie


with Stepanida Borisova, Mohamed Badawi und Hubl Greiner

with Mohamed Mounir, Grace Yoon and Dietmar Schönherr

with the Madih-Ensemble

Color me Cairo, with Malachi Favors and Fathy Salama