Primary Instrument: Guitar
Bruce focuses on delivering a unique guitar voice. He is a refined performing guitarist with a strong background in arranging, composition, theory and practical experience. He has warm, full tone, and chord-melody lines fluid with eloquent phrasing. At any moment this might contrast to his dexterity with angular, bop driven lines that swing hard and deep.
Born in Joliet, Illinois (Chicago-land), Bruce began playing trumpet at age 10. He took up guitar after a short residence in Manhattan’s Lower East Side at age 15. After hearing unique sounds on Bleeker Street, Washington Square and The Café Wha, the trumpet took a back seat as he emulated the sounds of Duane Allman and pioneered a music theory course in high school. After realizing he wanted to learn everything about guitar and music, he moved to Boston to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Total focus on instrumental performance for 2-1/2 years was followed by 4 years of composition. Another year was invested, locked in a room completing a Symphony, Sonata and varied works while finally having the chance to apply years of concepts to guitar.
Bruce co-led several groups and then in 1995 co-founded RazzMaJazz, a very successful Greenville, SC group. This gave birth to numerous opportunities and 4 CD Releases:1995 Out of the Trap Bag, 1997 Cold Cuts, 1999 Billy Bar Fly and Live @ Main St Jazz. 10 yrs playing for significant events: Soby's Anniversary parties, Taste of the Nation, Main Street Jazz, featured clinician and soloist, and endless club dates in downtown Greenville/300mi radius. Bruce Helgeson TRIO was established in 2009 and goes forward as a significant unit.
He has studied with the following artists, and continues to attend workshops across the country.
MASTER CLASS STUDIES with: Jim Hall(2), Pat Metheny(5), Pat Martino(2), John Scofield(2), Mike Stern, Charlie Mingus, Bucky Pizzarelli, Russell Malone, Kurt Rosenwinkle, Joe Beck, Buddy Defranco, Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Peter Leitch, Romero Lubambo, Harvie S (Swartz)
CLINIC COMRADES: Pat Harbison, John Fedchock, Scott Wendholt, Rick Simerly
CLASS ROOM STUDIES: Jimmy Bruno, Howard Alden, Rufus Reid, Jack Wilkins, Joe Diorio, Peter Bernstein, Dave Stryker, Rodney Jones, Jody Fisher, David Baker, Corey Christiansen, Chris Vadala, Barry Greene, Sheryl Bailey, Jack Grassel, John Laporta, Bret Willmot, Bill Pierce, Jamey Aebersold, Jim Kelly, Jerome Harris, Tom Dempsey, Gary Campbell, Steve Erquiaga, Fred Hamilton, Dan Haerle, Peter Mazza, Jim Snidero, Adam Rafferty, Kenny Wessel, Bill Bresnahan, W Maloof, J Bavicci, Lou Mucci, Ron Jackson, Dave Fuiscynski, Joe Satriani, Will Ray et al. Each artist has left a marked influence on Helgeson.
Various National Guitar Workshop, IAJE, Jamey Aebersold, Berklee, activities.
Bruce is currently active in projects from Solo, Duo, Trio and more. 864.276.7727 cell