Titi Winterstein (* 25. Oktober 1956; † 13. Juni 2008 in Offenburg) was a german Jazzmusician (Violin) and one of the most important representants of german Sinti-Swing.
Titi Winterstein learned to play from his father, one of the few Sinti-survivors of the NS-Holocaust out of his family. He started to play the guitar at the age of 8, later on additionally he leaerns to play the violin, becoming his main-instrument.
In 1965, for the ending of the Sinti-pilgrimage in Illingen, he played in front of a bigger audience for the first time.
In the year 1972 the famous Guitarrist Häns'che Weiss, who just left the group of violin-legend Schnuckenack Reinhardt, asked the young violinist, at that time 15 years old, to play in his newly founded Quintette which played in the typical classical Hot Club-setup of Violin, Solo-Guitar, 2 Rhythm-Guitars, Doublebass, where Titi the »Wonderchild« quickly made his furor and as well playing on international stages.
In 1978 Winterstein founded his own Ensemble (at first "Titi Winterstein Quintett"), with which he released six records and was part of a SDR-TV-film called „Saitenstraßen“. Besides that Winterstein also worked politically, was part of Fritz Rau´s "Grüner Raupe", in the green German national election campaign in 1983 and in the "human chain" Stuttgart-Ulm initiated by the peace-movement.
In 1993 he was invited to Brussels by Yehudi Menuhin for the event „All the world’s violins“, where he played with other greats of his instrument e.g. Stephane Grappelli.
In may 2003 Titi Winterstein became honoured with the Django Reinhardt Price on the „European Festival of Music of Roma and Sinti“ for his audience in the "Haus der Kulturen der Welt" in Berlin.
Titi Winterstein died June 13th 2008 in Offenburg after long heavy sickness. The german Gypsyjazzszene looses one of his greatest Sinti-talents playing the violin.
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