Martin Taylor, Ulf Wakenius and Robin Nolan
Bringing together three of Europe's leading guitarists, The Great Guitars™, featuring Martin Taylor, Ulf Wakenius, and Robin Nolan, continues the guitar supergroup tradition. Martin Taylor, who replaced Herb Ellis in the original Great Guitars in the 1980′s, and toured as part of the group alongside the legendary Barney Kessel and Charlie Byrd, is now carrying the guitar trio tradition forward into the 21st Century with the addition of jazz guitarist Ulf Wakenius and Dutch-based gypsy jazz guitarist Robin Nolan.
Combining Martin Taylor’s award-winning virtuosic finger style with Wakenius’ jaw-dropping technique, and Nolan’s gypsy-inspired artistry, the evening features solo, duet and trio performances by three acknowledged masters of the acoustic guitar. Together they have worked with artists ranging from Tommy Emmanuel and David Grisman to Oscar Peterson and Bill Wyman and will present an evening of virtuosity, emotion, humor and musical fireworks.
Pat Metheny calls Martin Taylor “one of the most awesome solo guitar players in the history of the instrument” while Jeff Beck says “he out-shreds all of us….I’ve never seen anything like it”. Top 10 albums in both the USA and Europe, a record 15 British Jazz Awards and an MBE from the Queen of Great Britain have seen Taylor recognized as the world’s foremost exponent of solo fingerstyle jazz guitar playing.
Born in Halmstad, Sweden, Ulf Wakenius is a jazz guitarist extraordinaire acclaimed and celebrated all over the world. Between 1997 and 2007 Ulf held what may have been the most prestigious spot in jazz for a guitarist: a chair in the Oscar Peterson Quartet. Wakenius guitar duo Guitars Unlimited rocked Scandinavia in the early 80s, culminating in the 1985 Melody Grand Prix, which was seen by 600 million viewers, probably the largest audience a jazz guitar duo ever had. The last few years he's been touring the world with the amazing Korean singer Youn Sun Nah.
Robin Nolan, one of the world’s best known and most admired gypsy jazz guitarists, has been lauded for his musical genius and sensibilities by Willie Nelson, Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, and the late George Harrison. Whether playing jazz standards, original compositions, or a nod at rock and pop music, Robin always delights his audiences with a show of special splendor and style.
Martin Taylor Martin Taylor is a multi-award winning guitarist and Acoustic Guitar magazine calls him ‘THE Acoustic Guitarist of his Generation’. He dazzles audiences with his solo shows, which combine virtuosity, emotion, humor, and a strong stage presence while his inimitable style has seen him recognized as the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz and fingerstyle guitar playing.
Taylor has invented and developed a way of playing the guitar that is admired, and often imitated, by guitarists all over the world. As well as his solo concerts and recordings, he has also collaborated with musicians from many different musical genre including Jeff Beck, Tommy Emmanuel, Bill Wyman, Chet Atkins, Stephane Grappelli, David Grisman, George Harrison, Jamie Cullum, Bryn Terfel, Dianne Schuur and Gary Burton.
He has been awarded two honorary doctorates, a BBC lifetime achievement award, Top 10 albums in both the USA and Europe, a record 14 British Jazz Awards and in 2002 he was appointed MBE ‘For Services to Jazz Music’ by Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain. As one of the world’s most recognized online guitar teachers his innovative online guitar school with its headquarters in Napa, CA has been featured on NPR, BBC, Fox News and the LA Times and is subscribed to by guitarists in over 58 countries.
From 1979 to 1990 he toured the world and recorded over 20 albums with the French jazz violin legend STEPHANE GRAPPELLI. Their album with Vassar Clements “Together At Last” won a Grammy Nomination in 1987. Monsieur Grappelli described him as “A great artist, rich in talent and elegance”. His ground breaking solo album ARTISTRY, produced by Steve Howe, was released in 1992 to much critical acclaim. It was No 1 in the HMV Jazz Charts for a record 12 weeks and launched his career as an international solo artist. After two very successful albums for Sony/Columbia, KISS AND TELL and NITELIFE, he went on to record several albums for The Guitar Label.
In 1999 he was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of The West of Scotland and in 2002, was appointed MBE “For Services To Jazz Music”, in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which he received personally from Her Majesty The Queen at an investiture at Buckingham Palace.
In 2007 he received the prestigious BBC Radio 2 “Heart of Jazz” Award in recognition of his career in music, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Wales Jazz Guitar Festival for his “Contribution to Jazz Guitar Worldwide”.
He has also received a record 14 British Jazz Awards as a guitarist, and as a composer he was nominated for “Best Contemporary Song” in the BBC Folk Awards in 2009. The prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama made him an Honorary Doctor of Music in 2010.
His film credits include the French comedy “Milou En Mai” directed by Louis Malle, and more recently his composition “Green Lady” is featured in the Andrew Piddington movie “The Killing of John Lennon”. His many TV credits include the theme music for “After You’ve Gone” featuring Nicholas Lyndhurst and Celia Imrie, and the cult “Nicole-Papa” TV commercials for the Renault Clio.
Outside of his work as a musician he is also involved in several charities including the Child Bereavement Charity, is Patron of the My Wish Foundation of Sri Lanka, and is a Trustee and Vice President of Scotland’s Buddhist Vihara.
His autobiography “Martin Taylor- Autobiography of a Travelling Musician” was released in 2005.
April 2010 saw the launch of the uniquely innovative Martin Taylor Guitar Academy online. Late 2010 saw the world premiere of an exciting new work for guitar, orchestra and big band with the creation of Martin Taylor’s ‘Spirit of Django Suite’. Based on themes by Martin Taylor and arranged by Guy Barker this large orchestral piece features Martin Taylor, Spirit of Django, the Guy Barker Big Band, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
At the end of 2010 Martin performed at a special private dinner at Windsor Castle for Prince William on the eve of his engagement to Kate Middleton. With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics in 2011, the BBC have made a performance of the suite by Martin Taylor and the Britten Symphonia part of their 2011 Proms concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
When not touring he divides his time between Scotland and California, where the Martin Taylor Guitar Academy is based.
“Martin Taylor is one of the most awesome solo guitar players in the history of the instrument. He’s unbelievable” – Pat Metheny
“[Martin Taylor] out-shred’s all of us put together….I’ve never seen anything like it” – Jeff Beck
“The man is no less than a guitar genius” – Martin Bashir (MSNBC Anchor)
“No matter how complex or daring, Taylor’s interpretations never short change the melodies; indeed, his remarkable fluid touch embues a seamless beauty. Martin Taylor is something to behold.” – The Washington Post
“Martin Taylor is one of the greatest and most impressive guitar players in the world.” – Chet Atkins
Born: April 16t, 1958 in Halmstad, Sweden. Ulf Wakenius. A jazz guitarist extraordinaire acclaimed and celebrated all over the world. Between 1997 and 2007 Ulf held what may have been the most prestigious spot in jazz for a guitarist: a chair in the Oscar Peterson Quartet.This was the coronation of a career which included many record-breaking moments.Wakenius guitar duo Guitars Unlimited rocked Scandinavia in the early 80s, culminating in the 1985 Melody Grand Prix, which was seen by 600 million viewers, probably the largest audience a jazz guitar duo ever had. Shortly after that Wakenius started a extremely successful and long-lasting collaboration with the legendary bass player Niels-Henning Örsted Pedersen.( NHOP), and both of his duo albums with bass icon Ray Brown, topped the US Jazz Charts.The last few years he's been touriing the world with the amazing Korean singer Youn Sun Nah.
Oscar Peterson has publicly described Ulf as one of the greatest guitarists alive in the world today and many of today’s most acclaimed jazz guitarists are among Ulf’s fans, including Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, John Scofield and Mike Stern. Great Rhythmic feel combines with a extraordinary lyrical touch- his emphasis is always on melodies and groove. He has been filmed by Clint Eastwood. His next release on ACT will be Ulf Wakenius-Solo "Momento Magico"
He has also performed and recorded with greats like:
Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, Mike Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Henderson, Ray Brown, Michel Legrand, Jim Hall, Max Roach, Milt Jackson,NHOP, Randy Brecker Phil Woods, Kenny Kirkland, Bill Evans, Johnny Griffin, Benny Golson, Toots Thielemans, Monica Zetterlund, Steve Swallow, Art Farmer, Clark Terry, Jimmy Cobb, Joey DeFrancesco, Bobby Hutcherson, James Moody, Bob Berg, Niels Lan Doky, Christian Mcbride, Dennis Chambers, Alvin Queen, Curtis Stigers, Larry Coryell, Philip Catherine, Dave Liebman, Chris Potter, Steve Coleman,Albert Mangelsdorff, Peter Erskine, Terri Lyn Carrington, Gary Thomas, Billy Hart, Jon Christensen, Svend Asmussen, Kirk Lightsey, Mullgrew Miller, Geoffrey Keezer, Jeff"Tain"Watts,Trilok Gurtu, Jon Faddis, Ed Thigpen, Paolo Fresu, Palle Danielsson, ,Sheila E, Adam Nussbaum, Martin Taylor, Babik Reinhardt, Angelo Debarre, Nguyen Le, Alex Acuna, John Pisano, Christian Escoude, Stefano De Battista, Sivuca, Airto Moireria, Flora Purim, Nils Landgren,Alex Riel.Minh Doky Lars Danielsson, Till Brönner, Buster Williams, Danny Richmond, Billy Hart, Joey Calderazzo, Magnus Öström, Dan Berglund, Tommy Smith, Steve Rodby, Paul Vertico, Danny Gottlieb, Gregory Hutchinson, Wolfgang Haffner, Radio String Quartet Vienna, Tommy Smith,Danny Richmond, Joe Labarbera Arild Andersen, Bugge Wesseltoft, Haakon Graf -Grafitti, Rick Margitza, Red Mitchell, Lars Jansson, Caecilie Nörby, Ed Shaugnessy, Kenny Drew, Georg "Jojje" Wadenius, Rune Gustafsson, Lisa Nilsson, Sinne Eeg, Jan Lundgren,Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton, Viktoria Tolstoy, Zbignew Namyslowski, Ira Coleman, Dave Young, Eric Alexander, Claire Martin, Jeff Healey, Blues Brothers Band Toronto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michel Legrand.
Robin Nolan, one of the world’s best known and most admired gypsy jazz guitarists, has been lauded for his musical genius and sensibilities by Willie Nelson, Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, and the late George Harrison. Robin became one of Harrison’s favorite guitarists and was his ‘secret weapon’ at many a party thrown at his English country estate Friar Park. While his inspiration lies in Gypsy Jazz, Latin and Hot Club de France, Robin has a decidedly contemporary feel and fires up his music with his own expressive "je ne sais quoi". Backed by his trio’s hypnotic rhythms, his rippling melodic ideas and solos set him apart from his contemporaries. Whether playing jazz standards, original compositions, or a nod at rock and pop music, Robin always delights his audiences with a show of special splendor and style. Born in Vietnam in 1968 to musical parents who were entertaining the US troops at the time, Robin was instantly immersed into the life of a working traveling musician. First taught by his father at the age of six in Hong Kong he began a musical journey, which has taken him through Blues, Rock and Jazz before arriving at his love and passion.... the music of Django Reinhardt and the Gypsies.
Nolan has recently signed to Dhani Harrison’s Hot Records and will release his new album ‘Gypsy Blue’ in July 2013.
In addition to his busy schedule as a performer, Robin is also known as a passionate instructor. He’s released some of the most important gypsy jazz instructional books, CDs and videos in the past ten years. His play-along CDs and Gig Book have been the foundation of study and jam sessions for thousands of guitarist worldwide. His current online instructional courses include his Gypsy Jazz JumpStart Master Class, Gypsy Jazz Fast Track, Gypsy Jazz Transfusion, and the new Gypsy Jazz Guitar Secrets iPad magazine.www.GypsyJazzSecrets.com Robin’s entire gypsy jazz instruction catalogue can be found at http://www.RobinNolanTeaches.com.