Gene Ess

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.

Read more
Album Reviews
Catching Up With
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
”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

Read more

Primary Instrument

Guitar

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced

Photos (23)

Discography

Apotheosis

Apotheosis

Simplicity Jazz Records
2019

buy
Absurdist Theater

Absurdist Theater

SIMP Records
2016

buy
Eternal Monomyth

Eternal Monomyth

SIMP Records
2015

buy
Fractal Attraction

Fractal Attraction

SIMP Records
2013

buy
A Thousand Summers

A Thousand Summers

SIMP Records
2012

buy
Modes of Limited Transcendence

Modes of Limited...

SIMP Records
2009

buy

Watch

Similar

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.