Studied musicology, English and American literature, art history and sociology and holds a Ph.D. from Kiel University. Since its inception in 1990 he serves as the director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt. He had teaching appointments at several major universities and is a regular speaker at international conferences. Knauer’s scholarly credits include several books as well as numerous essays in German, American and international books and scholarly journals. He is editor of the book series Darmstadt Studies in Jazz Research since 1991 (15 volumes this far). He served on numerous international advisory boards. For the spring semester 2008 Knauer was appointed the first non-American Louis Armstrong Professor of Jazz Studies at the Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University, New York. His most recent books are on Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, and Duke Ellington (all published by Reclam). In the fall of 2019 he published “Play yoursef, man!” Eine Geschichte des Jazz in Deutschland (Reclam), a comprehensive history of jazz in Germany from the beginnings to the present.