Rolf Munkes was born on December 10th, 1966. He started playing guitar when he was 12 years old. Rolf took his secondary school examination in 1987 and went on to study plastics engineering. But he quit soon to become a professional musician. He started to teach guitar lessons to earn his living. In 1992 he co-founded ABRA, which has so far released two CDs. ABRA have had several hundred gigs and, in September 1998, they won their first record contract abroad.
In 1996, Rolf enrolled at the Music Academy in Remscheid. His teacher was Michael Borner, a jazz guitar player. Guest teachers included Michael Sagmeister, Peter Wölpl, Wayne Krantz and others. Rolf finished his studies with the highest possible marks.
He also took guitar lessons with the Frankfurt jazz guitarist Mathias Löffler. Rolf's comment: "Although he tried to win me over for jazz for two years, I still love rock music, but I also greatly admire Robben Ford, whom I had discovered through Mathias. This guy is a phrasing genius."
In 1998, after having set up his own digital studio, Rolf dedicated himself to working on the songs for his solo project (r.m.b.rolf munkes band). From this he has developed his own distinctive guitar-playing style, which is characterized by clean, fast legato lines. The songs on the first demo CD are characterized by frequent use of two-part lines played by either a second guitar or bass. The entire record consists of accurately played and very creative compositions.
This was confirmed at this year's International Music Fair in Frankfurt, where Rolf presented his demo CD LIVE (!!!) at the booth of Rath-Amps. He received excellent feedback from fair visitors, musicians as well as the music press (for instance, the trade magazine "Gitarre&Bass" recently published a very positive review of his demo CD).
On this record, Rolf uses a Gibson ES-335TD (y.o.c.1972) and a Fender Stratocaster, equipped with an OBL pick-up in the bridge position and two DiMarzio pick-ups in the middle and neck positions, combined with a Rath-Amp (one of the first amps of the Retro 50 series).
Encouraged by the strong feedback on the demo, Rolf plans to release his next record as soon as possible.
Rolf showed 1998 on the Walt Disney Enterprises production "Ontok im Haus der Uhren" (a musical for children) of Michael Suljic his versatility as guitarist.
In the journal "Soundcheck" No.06/99 you could find soundsamples of Rolf`s demo CD.
In September 1999 Rolf won the German Rockprize in the category "Best Instrumentalist".
And in November 2000 he was the best german participant (selected out of 200 CD´s) at the finale of the European Guitar Festival in Lausanne/Suisse.
Rolf played again the guitars on the new CD of Michael Suljic.
Among his solo-project he is since October 2000 the guitarist of the german metal-band "Vanize".
Rolf`s first CD "No More Obscurity" was released in November 2000 by the finish label Lion Music with the guestmusicians Anders Johansson (Hammerfall) and Lance King (Balance of Power). On the CD you find instrumental- and vocalsongs in the style of Melodic Hardrock. Now Rolf works again with famous guestmusicians on his second CD. Rolf is endorsed by Exelir Strings.