Gesine Bänfer plays shawm, saxophone, whistles, bagpipes and 18th-century English guitar. She founded her first girl band "Jawbone" at the age of 13, in which she sang and played guitar and drums. She was a singer in a rock opera and a saxophonist in dance combos and big bands before specialising in historical woodwind instruments. She learnt shawm with Katharina Arfken in Basel, Switzerland. With this instrument she was a prizewinner at the prestigious early music competition of the Festival van Vlandern, Bruges and was winner of the Belgian BRTN radio award. Her research into medieval wind music has gained international recognition, and she regularly gives lectures on the iconography of historical wind instruments at universities and music colleges throughout Europe.
For her bagpipe playing she was a prizewinner at the Festival Rencontre Internationales de St.Chartier (France) and received two awards from the German Pop Foundation for "Best Wind Player“ and, with Contraband, for "Best Folk Rock Band".
As a pedagogue, she received her training in Waldorf education at the Free University of Freiburg / Stuttgart. As a music producer, she founded her own independent label Ahalani-Records.
She has four daughters and two grandchildren and lives with her family in Freiburg im Breisgau.