Born: 1987 Primary Instrument: Guitar, electric
Vangthanousone Bouaphanh was born in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. He only took up the guitar aged 21, after hearing some recorded jazz in a friend's bar. Initially attracted to bossa nova, especially Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vangthanousone soon became fascinated by straight ahead jazz, and began to study and play the music of saxophonists John Coltrane and Charlie Parker.
As a guitarist, his main influence is Pat Martino, though he is also inspired by Wes Montgomery and George Benson, and is familiar with the music of Bill Frisell and John Scofieldamongst others.
Vangthanousone's only source of jazz was via the internet, and it was through Face Book that he came across Bangkok-based, American guitarist Ron Cole. Cole became a teacher, mentor and adviser for Vangthanousone, teaching the young Lao guitarist to develop the language of improvisation.
Jazz is a passion for Vangthanousone, and in addition to practicing three hours a day on his guitar, he also checks out jazz videos on You Tube for an hour each day.
Vangthanousone leads a band called Afternoon Blossom, a bossa nova band with vocals sung in Lao. This is the first band in Lao's history to take bossa nova and give it a local twist. The band has already recorded its first single.
It is Vangthanousone's fervent desire to form a jazz band in Vientiane, though in the meantime, he is more than willing to sit in with any visiting jazz musicians to Lao's capital city.