Primary Instrument: Piano
The craft of composition has been a part of Guillermo Klein’s life since his childhood in Argentina. Klein’s father presented him with a piano when he turned 11 years old and, inspired by the legendary Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla, he promptly began his experimentation with writing songs.
Klein left Argentina to attend Berklee College of Music after hearing a moving speech by the former dean Gary Burton about his relationship working with Piazzolla. Klein intended to study classical music on his arrival but found himself among peers that were passionate about jazz.
The music of Wayne Shorter provided the bridge from classical to jazz studies. Being a fan of unique harmonic expression, Klein was easily drawn to the work of this master composer who is deemed to be one of the most intriguing harmonic architects in jazz. Klein was also able to develop a talented network of musical friends, many of which came to Berklee from South America. This group of colleagues provided the framework for what would eventually become Klein’s main musical voice, the Big Van large ensemble that would later become Los Guachos.
After graduating from Berklee, Klein moved to New York City like many of his fellow graduates. He settled into Greenwich Village and quickly became associated with a jazz club called Smalls where he established a weekly engagement with his 17-piece Big Van band that incorporated musicians living in New York as well as commuters from Boston. Smalls was critical in fostering a community of young artists that would ultimately be some of the most influential voices of modern jazz.
Klein later scaled the band down to a more streamlined 11 piece unit that began to be known as Los Guachos (roughly translated, the bastards). The band continued to develop with the help of residences at Smalls and, later, the Jazz Standard. After recording an album that was ultimately shelved, Klein was able to find a home with Sunnyside Records. The label released two CDs by Los Guachos, Los Guachos II (1999) and Los Guachos III (2002).
Even with media attention and devoted fans, Klein found it increasingly difficult to make a living as a working musician in the States. He moved back to Argentina in the early fall of 2000 with his wife. While in Argentina, Klein was able to make another recording alongside local musicians, Una Nave (2005). He stayed in Argentina for two years before moving to Barcelona, Spain.
Currently, Klein lives in Spain where he teaches composition. He lives with his wife, daughter and son in Barcelona. Los Guachos’ new recording, Filtros, will be released June 10, 2008 on Sunnyside Records.
Source: Bret Sjerven / Sunnyside Records
Some albums are simply a collection of discrete songs; others are broader works where the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. With Una Nave, Argentinean pianist Guillermo Klein has created a boldly sweeping album that transcends its individual components. While these sixteen pieces can be assessed in terms of stylistic roots, specific performances, and compositional élan, these considerations are really secondary to the greater impact they have when experienced as a 66-minute whole. - John Kelman, All About Jazz
...this is the rare CD where plentiful musical variety only gives an impression of hungry and far-reaching giftednessnot arrogant hubris or lack of focus. - Paul Olson, All About Jazz
Guillermo Klein, Una Nave (Sunnyside, 2005)
Guillermo Klein/Los Gauchos, Live in Barcelona (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2005)
Guillermo Klein/Los Gaunchos, Los Gauchos III (Sunnyside, 2002)
Guillermo Klein/Los Gaunchos, Los GauchosII (Sunnyside, 1999)
Guillermo Klein, El Minotauro (Candid, 1997)
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