Karl Ratzer
Registered as:
Instrument: guitar, vocals

© Jan Scheffner

Ratzer Karl

General Information

Year of Birth:  1950
Place of Birth:  Vienna
Region of Birth: 
Country of Birth: 


Many myths and legends have grown up around the cult-guitarist from Brigittenau, a musician who is respected by fans as well as fellow musicians. Karl Ratzer is one of those exceptional musicians, together with Joe Zawinul, Hans Koller, or Fritz Pauer, who are not only famous in Austria but have also managed to make a name for themselves in the USA.


1971 - 1972

member of the band Gypsy Love (together with Kurt Hauenstein, Peter Wolf, Jano Stojka)


moved to the USA (first to Atlanta, then to New York), cooperation with musicians such as High Voltage


first band-foundation with Jeremy Steig, Dan Wall, Eddie Gomez, Joe Chambers and Ray Mantilla (Blues, Funk/Soul, Jazz)


on tour with Chet Baker through Europe: performances in Italy, France, Switzerland - afterwards return to Vienna


ever since teaching at various schools and institutes: development of his own practice-related teaching method for guitarists of different level

1999 - 2003



ever since lecturer


ever since lecturer

foundation of the projects Ratzer/Czadek Project, Karl Ratzer International Septet, Ratzer/Brito Quintet


PeriodAwardCompositionAwarding Organisation

Medal of Honour of the City of Vienna

Discography, Projects


  • 2016: My Time (Organic/CD)
  • 2014: Underground System (Organic/CD)
  • 2011: You've Changed (Organic/CD)
  • 2004: All The Way (ENJA RECORDS/CD)
  • 1998: Saturn Returning (ENJA RECORDS/CD)
  • 1998: Moon Dancer (ENJA RECORDS/CD)
  • 1998: Electric Finger (RST Records/CD)
  • 1995: Coasting (Bellaphon/CD)
  • 1994: Lucky Man (Bellaphon/CD-Single)
  • 1994: A Fool For Your Sake (GIG Records/CD)
  • 1993: Bayou (Bellaphon/CD-Single)
  • 1993: Bayou (Bellaphon/CD)
  • 1993: Waltz For Ann (Bellaphon/CD)
  • 1991: A Man And His Guitar (Bellaphon/CD)
  • 1991: Gumbo Dive (RST Records/CD)
  • 1986: Serenade (RST Records/CD)
  • 1985: Gitarrenfeuer (Bellaphon/Vinyl+Musikkassette)
  • 1985: Happy Floating (RST Records/Vinyl+CD)
  • 1982: Gitarre, Genie und Geschichten
  • 1982: Electric Finger (RST Records/Vinyl)
  • 1981: A Fool For Your Sake (GIG Records/Vinyl)
  • 1981: A Fool For Your Sake (GIG Records/Vinyl Single)
  • 1979: Dancing On A String (CMP/Vinyl)
  • 1979: Street Talk (Vanguard Recording Society Inc./Vinyl)
  • 1979: Fingerprints (CMP/Vinyl)
  • 1978: In Search Of The Ghost (Vanguard Recording Society Inc./Vinyl)

Contact, Links