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Gene Ess About the Educator

Guitarist and composer. He wanted to become a lawyer or a doctor but alas, he ended up a jazz musician and thereby keeping all his relatives away and confused. One of the few perks of being a "jazz cat".

Award winning guitarist, Gene Ess, draws upon a diverse background to form his unique style. Studying classical piano, Gene's early years were filled with sounds of Beethoven and Chopin. Originally from Tokyo, Japan and growing up on a US Air Force Base on Okinawa, Ess was simultaneously receiving a mix of influences: he was exposed to the indigenous music of Okinawa and - to the pop and jazz music coming out of the clubs for the American soldiers. All this amounted for an early obsession with music.

Considered a child prodigy by fellow musicians and instructors, Ess performed in clubs and festivals all around Okinawa at the early age of 14. After graduating high school, not satisfied, Ess left for George Mason University. There, Ess pursued classical music studies with Larry Snitzler, a prominent concert guitarist who was Andrés Segovia's disciple and orchestral composition under Dr. Glenn Smith.

During the 90's he worked with the great drummer Rashied Ali, touring globally and recording a well received album No One in Particular. Through this group, Gene met and played with Carlos Santana, Ravi Coltrane, Matt Garrison, Lonnie Plaxico, Archie Shepp, and Reggie Workman among many others.

Gene can be heard in various venues and festivals here in NYC and Europe and Asia. Some are Blue Note NYC, 55Bar, Iridium, ShapeShifter Lab, iBeam, Red Hook Jazz Festival, Yokohama Jazz Festival, Pit Inn, Antibes Jazz Festival, Strasbourg Jazz Festival, and Teatro Monumental (Madrid).