Award winning guitarist, Gene Ess, draws upon a diverse background to form his unique style. Studying classical piano, Gene's early years were filled with sounds of Beethoven and Chopin. Originally from Tokyo, Japan and growing up on a U.S. Air Force Base on Okinawa, Gene was simultaneously receiving a mix of influences: he was exposed to the indigenous music of Okinawa and - to the pop and jazz music coming out of the clubs for the American soldiers. All this amounted for an early obsession with music.
Gene performed in clubs and festivals all around Okinawa at the early age of 14. After graduating high school Gene left for George Mason University. There, he pursued classical music studies with Larry Snitzler, a prominent concert guitarist who was Andrés Segovia's disciple and orchestral composition under Dr. Glenn Smith.
Downbeat magazine presented Gene's performance of Lennox Berkeley's 'Theme and Variations' with the 'Outstanding Performance Award' in 1983. Consequently, Gene received a scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. There he continued his musical quest and was heavily influenced by the music of John Coltrane. After studies with Jerry Bergonzi and Charlie Banacos, Gene graduated from Berklee with honors in 1990 and moved to New York in 1991.
During the 90's he worked with the great drummer Rashied Ali, touring globally and recording a well-received album No One in Particular. Through this group, Gene met and played with Carlos Santana, Ravi Coltrane, Matt Garrison, Lonnie Plaxico, Archie Shepp, and Reggie Workman among many others.
Catching Up With
Read more articles
November 07, 2011
Gene Ess with Nicki Parrott at Somethin' Jazz Club on November 22, 2011
May 24, 2011
Jazz Pair Are Note Perfect
June 17, 2010
Gene Ess - Modes of Limited Transcendence - Concert - June 25
April 01, 2010
Gene Ess is Honored by SESAC
November 11, 2009
Gene Ess Trio @ The Bar Next Door, NYC
September 01, 2009
Gene Ess Double Guitar Quartet with Rodney Jones
April 01, 2009
Gene Ess - "Modes of Limited Transcendence" CD - Available Now!
December 11, 2008
Gene Ess CD Release Party for "Modes of Limited Transcendence" at Blue...
May 05, 2008
Gene Ess and Tigran Hamasyan - Recording and Dates
November 27, 2007
Gene Ess "Sandbox and Sanctum" Quartet at Big Apple Jazz
March 04, 2007
Gene Ess "Sandbox & Sanctum" at Blue Note, March 11, 2007
June 06, 2006
Gene Ess Group in NYC and PA, June 10 and 11, 2006
May 23, 2006
Gene Ess, Harvie S, Sam Newsome, and EJ Strickland @ Freddy's Backroom...
May 10, 2006
Gene Ess Quartet featuring Mika Pohjola, Harvie S, and Greg Ritchie...
April 17, 2006
Gene Ess, Harvie S, TaKe Toriyama, and Mika Pohjola @ Freddy's Backroom...
March 21, 2006
Gene Ess "Sandbox & Sanctum" Quartet with Dave Liebman March 28
November 10, 2005
Gene Ess "Sandbox & Sanctum" Quartet @ 55 Bar, Nov 15th, 2005 10PM
November 11, 2005
Gene Ess Group at 55 Bar, NYC 11/15/05 10PM and 11:30PM
November 07, 2005
Gene Ess with Dave Liebman @ the Blue Note Nov 13, 2005
November 03, 2005
Gene Ess "Sandbox & Sanctum" Quartet @ Freddy's Backroom, Nov 4, 2005...
It would be a bit foolish to say that in the vast ...
It would be a bit foolish to say that in the vast world of recorded jazz, you still have to look for music of substance. Considering how much jazz is released on a regular basis, there’s more than enough music to go around, but sometimes they end up bring nothing but sonic clutter. Gene Ess is not clutter, in fact for some it may be the jazz album you’ve been seeking for for most of your life.
He was born Gene Shimosato, a cool enough name right there but that’s besides the point. For now he is known as Gene Ess, which in a way is cool in itself but that will leave potential listeners and fans to question “what’s Ess?” Now you know
Willing to teach
Intermediate to advanced