Born: November 15, 1968 Primary Instrument: Bass
Roland grew up in a musical family. He first learned music from his mother, a bass player who taught him that you can’t make it in music without a strong groove and feeling. Guerin studied at Southern University in Baton Rouge, where he joined legendary jazz educator Alvin Batiste’s Band, the Jazztronauts. He later began to tour the world as a member of jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield's Band. During this time Guerin explored the jazz genre; which ultimately proved to be an avenue toward success. He had the opportunity to perform with such greats as George Benson, Jimmy Scott, Frank Morgan, Vernel Fournier, and Gerry Mulligan.
In the meantime, he also participated to the recording of several albums with other artists including Ellis Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, and Allen Toussaint. Guerin also explored his spiritual side, as he was given a vision to build a new instrument. The result: a one-of-a-kind acoustic hollow bodied, arched top and back, six string bass guitar. With this instrument, Guerin began to write music for an entire spectrum of genres including pop, rock, R&B, classical, folk, and country.
Roland made his debut as a bandleader in 1998, collaborating with trumpeter Nicholas Payton, guitarist Mark Whitfield, pianist Peter Martin, and drummer Donald Edwards. Guerin's first release, The Winds of the New Land, showcased his innovative style of composition and arrangement. Shortly after its release, he was chosen as a 1998 Contemporary Jazz All Star by New Orleans Magazine and by Jazz Review as a member of their Fantasy Jazz Band.
Guerin recorded his second album on the Half Note Record label, Roland Guerin Sextet Live at the Blue Note. This album combines Roland's original compositions along with two classic jazz standards. A third album, You Don't Have to See It to Believe It was released in 2000 to rave reviews worldwide.
In February 2000, Guerin embarked his band upon a one month tour of the Blue Note's clubs in Japan. His forth album, Groove Swing and Harmony, was a real success that led to a second volume, Groove Swing and Harmony II, showcasing a lot of the artist's personality and composing skills.
There is surely much more to come from this innovative and multi-talented individual, as he announces another album for late 2009 or 2010. As a member of the Marcus RobertsTrio, Roland had the opportunity to perform at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and in the Royal Opera House in Louis XIV's castle in Versailles, France. They regularly perform as a jazz trio enhanced by symphony orchestras. The trio’s new CD, New Orleans meets Harlem, was released in May 2009.
When he is not performing with his band, Roland Guerin continues to tour, perform, and record with Marcus Roberts. He also enjoys performing with Allen Toussaintand the Brian Blade Fellowship Band. In addition, he is very active on the New Orleans music scene, where he performs in all genres with artists such as Herlin Riley, Dr. Michael White, Germaine Bazzle, Shannon Powell, Leah Chase, and Ellis Marsalis.