Primary Instrument: Guitar
Rory Stuart is an innovative jazz guitarist and composer, with a mature modern style. He's been critically acclaimed as one of the foremost young musicians of the decade. Stuart has a healthy respect for the jazz tradition. Largely self-taught, he's benefited from an ongoing exchange of musical ideas with his long-time friend Tuck Andress, and studied briefly but intensively with excellent guitarist's guitarist Dave Creamer. He cites John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Wayne Shorter as influences; yet his style is uniquely his own. Described in JAZZ TIMES as perhaps THE most innovative straight-ahead jazz guitarist to emerge in years, his two previous recordings as leader of a quartet have both received 4 star reviews in DOWNBEAT and been voted in the 10 best of the year in CODA. His co-led dates include one with the Cadence All-Stars (Timeless 284), one with avant-garde Brazilian saxophonist Ivo Perelman (CIMP 134), and a duo CD with Glenn Wilson (Sunnyside SSC 1057D), his playing/compositions are also featured on a date with Glenn Wilson's Quintet with Marc Copland (SSC 1074D). His new release (2008), “So Rise Up,” (SmartCat 1001) features saxophonist Mark Shim, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Ari Hoenig. He's twice been voted onto the TDWR in the guitar category on the Downbeat International Critic's Poll. In 2008, Rory performed in Kazakhstan and will perform in South Korea, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Italy. In 2007, Rory performed in Italy, the Bahamas, Iceland, and South Korea; he led a group that played to sold-out audiences in NY with guests George Garzone and Jaleel Shaw. In 2005-2006 Rory performed in Bassano del Grappa, Italy with Billy Harper, Cecil Bridgewater, John Riley, Andy McKee, and Sheila Jordan, in a Quartet he led in Switzerland with the Colin Vallon Trio, and in a group he led in New York with Reggie Workman and Billy Harper. He wrote new music for a concert in New York he led, joined by Cuban drummer Dafnis Prieto and his former students Robert Glasper, Matt Penman, John Ellis, Jean Rohe and Becca Stevens. He recorded with Swedish vocalist Sophie Duner and performed with Jeanie Bryson. He performed with his own Quartet he has led a quartet since 1982, his first Quartet through the 1980’s including Keith Copeland, Anthony Cox or Calvin Hill, and Armen Donelian. In 2004, he recorded with a Quartet with bassist Brandon Owens, saxophonist John Ellis, and percussionist Dan Weiss. In the past couple of years, he also appeared as a guest with Vincent Herring’s group in Switzerland and with Michael Wolff in Innsbruck, Austria, and co-led a group with George Garzone in New York. Prior to that, he worked with a wide variety of jazz artists, including Charlie Rouse, Charles Earland, Steve Nelson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ernie Krivda, Larry Coryell, Bill Doggett, Makanda Ken McIntyre, Bill Saxton, and the Keith Copeland Coalition with John Stubblefield and Joe Locke. He performed in Europe in Steve Coleman's band with Geri Allen, Graham Haynes, and Cassandra Wilson, and in the West with Joe Bonner. He's been on the road with Brother Jack McDuff, and performed and recorded with Michael Vlatkovich and with Errol Parker's Tentet Stuart wrote an instructional article in the Masters Series in GUITAR PLAYER, and is currently writing a book on jazz improvisation; he has taught clinics at Berkelee College of Music, Jazz Outreach 2003 in Austria, VenetoJazz in 2005-2007 in Italy, in Seoul Korea in 2007, and the International Association of Jazz Educators 2001 and 2007 Conventions, workshops funded by Meet the Composer, MPTF clinics in Denver, and is on the faculty of the Jazz Department at the New School, where he has designed and teaches the curriculum in Advanced Rhythmic Analysis. He has performed at the Kool Jazz Festival, and jazz festivals in Ottawa, Vancouver, Burlington Vt., Saalfelden Austria, Langnau Switzerland, Telluride Co., at the Painted Bride Arts Center in Philadelphia, Fat Tuesday's, Lush Life, and the Blue Note in New York, and at a myriad of other clubs and concert spaces in and out of the U.S. He has received grants from Meet the Composer and the National Endowment for the Arts. He's been interviewed in CADENCE, and a feature article on him appears in GUITAR PLAYER. The NEW YORKER calls him a stunning young guitarist.
Awards:National Endowment for the Arts fellowship; Meet the Composer grant; New School Recognition of Excellence Award (2006), etc...
One of the best young players in town. -Village Voice
Rory Stuart plays clean, carefully developed lines that never allow heat to submerge continuity. -Boston Phoenix
A promising young guitarist swings mightily backed by an outstanding rhythm section. -Billboard
... a young guitarist with a bristling tone and an intelligent approach to harmony.. -Philadelphia Inquirer
One of the most exciting bebop-oriented guitarists to emerge in recent memory ...embracing the daring, innovation, purity, and freedom associated with the work of legends such as John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. -Guitar Player Magazine
Strong fluent soloist... -New York Times
Intimate music full of energy and intelligence -Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2nd edition
perhaps THE most innovative straight-ahead jazz guitarist to emerge in years… -Jazz Times
Rory Stuart is one of the freshest new guitarists in jazz. He has a full sound with a long lean style of playing. His quartet has the energetic flow of the Coltrane quartet. Rory Stuart knows the tradition even while pushing most broadly out from that tradition. -Coda
“Virtuoso guitarist” -Jazz Times, 2002
“Rory Stuart is equally impressive as both an accompanist and soloist...Stuart is a confident player who really emerges as an individual among the horde of copycats, overplayers and uninspired practitioners.” Cadence, August 2002
“Mr. Stuart is a guitarist with a lithe and harmonically literate style” New York Times, 2005
“Innovative, straight-ahead jazz guitar a contradiction no longer” New York Press 2006 (nypress.com)
“rhythmic acrobats … tricky unison lines and extended, explorative solos… Combining the old and the new, and mixing it up just right” Mark F. Turner “All About Jazz” (March 2008).
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New York, NY
New School University Department of Jazz and Contemporary Music: teach Advanced Rhythm classes, lead the rhythm curriculum.
2005-2008 Veneto Jazz (Bassano Italy) 2008 Kazakhstan (Astana and Almaty) 2007, 2001 IAJE clinics at annual convention 2007-2008 Korea Jazz Festival and Workshop also clinics at JazzNights/Langnau (Switzerland), Jazz Outreach (Austria), Berkelee College of Music, across the USA, etc...