Born: February 28 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Hailed as a hidden gem, guitarist/composer Will Sellenraad has earned a fast growing reputation of being at the forefront of a new generation of jazz musicians. Known for his brilliant improvisations and his compelling, emotive compositions, this New York City native melds the various styles, phrasings and concepts of the jazz idiom with the raw elements of soul, rock and funk, to create a singular sound that is nothing short of inspiring.
The son of prominent New York artists, Johan and Ellen Sellenraad (who named their son after Willem de Kooning and Piet Mondrian), was destined towards music at an early age. Raised and immersed in the City's downtown art and music culture, Sellenraad was able to focus all his energies and talent toward the guitar. After being awarded numerous scholarships, Sellenraad graduated from the New School University Jazz Program, where he studied under many jazz giants including John Abercrombie, Gary Dial, Jim Hall and Reggie Workman....
Balance hits a satisfying sweet spot... A student of both Jim Hall and John Abercrombie, Sellenraad's guitar finds a wonderfully happy medium through Balance that takes Grant Green's cool blue sound and brings it to a grittier, more urban place. - All About Jazz
gorgeous, subdued guitar lines... The music has an easy feeling and strong character. A good mix by a very together group. - The Santa Fe New Mexican-Pasatiempo
...you will definitely be hearing more from Will Sellenraad - Kenny Barron
...sophisticated harmonic thinking and a modern approach...As a guitarist, Sellenraad has an abundance of technique... there is an absence of grandstanding, and one always hears music first.- Jazz Improv Magazine
will make you start to whisper about this new cat on the horizon - Midwest Record Recap
sleek original themes... - The New York Times
You might think that a tribute to the great Elvin Jones would be a thunderous song, to represent the drummer's monumental fills and polyrhythmic timekeeping. But composer Will Sellenraad had in mind a softer, soulful side to Elvin. Prayer has just such a transcendent quality, centered on merely two chords, given depth and warmth by Sellenraad's guitar, then gently nudged along by bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and another preeminent drummer, Victor Lewis. While saxophonist Abraham Burton locates the passionate notes on the higher end of the scale, it's Lewis who, like Jones would have done, provides just the right dose of fills and soft bombs. The leader follows with a flawless demonstration on maximizing the value of each note instead of maximizing the number of notes played.
Sellenraad says that the melody for Prayer appeared in his head when he woke up with it at 3 a.m. That must have been one vividly colorful, peaceful dream he had that night. - Jazz.com
Tracks From ITUNES
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New York, NY
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.