15 Contemporary NYC Jazz Guitarists

Looking for an inspiring jazz guitar gig in NYC? Me too. Here are 15 top young contemporary jazz guitarists who perform regularly in NYC.

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Why these “Young” NYC Jazz Guitarists?

Why did I chose these guys? Two reasons.

1: Money

It won’t cost you a stupid amount of money to see these jazz guitarists. Many of these artists perform high profile shows at more expensive venues but you can catch most of these amazing musicians for a $10 – $25 cover at venues such as Smalls and The Bar Next Door.

NYC is amazing in this respect, you can pay $20 and see musicians you listen to on records in an intimate setting. I grew up in New Zealand where you will often pay upwards of $30 and sit in a concert room seating a few hundred people. Jazz was born in the club and it is best heard there.

If you live in NYC (or just moved here like me) then lucky you! If you don’t, come visit – you won’t regret it!

2. Chops

Every time I see these jazz guitarists perform I walk away incredibly inspired. They all have a unique voice, mega chops and are nice dudes. On my first NYC visit I had money saved up for lessons but I learned SO much from just checking out gigs (and the odd cheeky recording/ transcription) that I didn’t bother. One of the best thing you can do for your playing is watch musicians better than you do their thing.

Wait, “Young” Guitarists – some of these guys are in there 30’s or 40’s?

Yeah, I know. Fair point! By young I mean they have a unique, contemporary approach to jazz guitar.

All right let’s check them out, click on a name to visit their respective website. If you think I missed any (I am sure I did), feel free to leave a comment below!

[Update 20 September, 2014. I’m not sure how I overlooked the musical prowess of Oz Noy, Wayne Kratz and Mike Stern – all incredible guitarists!]

15  Contemporary NYC Jazz Guitarists

  1. Adam Rogers
  2. Gilad Hekselman
  3. Jonathan Kreisberg
  4. Julian Lage
  5. Kurt Rosenwinkel
  6. Lage Lund
  7. Lionel Loueke
  8. Matthew Stevens
  9. Mike Moreno
  10. Nels Cline
  11. Nir Felder
  12. Paul Bollenback
  13. Peter Bernstein
  14. Rez Abassi
  15. Yotam Silberstein
  16. Miles Okazaki

Disclaimer: I know some of these guitarists don’t live in NYC. Also, these are just my personal favorites, what are yours?

20 Jazz Standards Often Called at Jam Sessions

jam sesion
If you enjoyed this blog, check out this post for a list of 20 tunes often called at jam sessions in NYC.


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Comments

    • pickupjazzadmin says

      Hi Roz, absolutely, those are all phenomenal guitar players whom I need to check out asap! Thanks for your thoughts.

      Sam

  1. Thomas Palumbo says

    I would add Nate Radley to the list. Whether with his own trio (well, co-led with Gary Versace and Loren Stillman), quartet or quintet (with pedal steel), or with various groups as sideman, he is a great player, versatile, and unique. His website has a list of upcoming gigs in January.

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