Thomas Rückert began to study at Cologne Music College under Rainer Brüninghaus and John Taylor in 1990. In 1999, he traveled to New York for the first time where his brother, the drummer Jochen Rückert, had already lived since 1995. Thomas found the stay in the metropolis of jazz to be inspiring and moving. In addition to working with Marc Johnson, Greg Hutchinson, Donny McCathlin, Greetje Kauffeld, Mark Murphy, Kevin Mahogany, Tony Lakatos, Randy Brecker, Adam Nussbaum, Ack van Royen, Jay Anderson and John Goldsby, collaboration above all with Lee Konitz was ground-breaking for him. The pianist internalized his advice "Donʼt play what you know" audibly.