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Howard Roberts

Howard Roberts was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1929. He began playing guitar at age 8 and by age 15 was playing gigs in and around the Phoenix area. In 1950 (at age 20) Howard decided to move to Los Angeles, and through hard work and the invaluable assistance of fellow guitarist/arranger-composer Jack Marshall, Howard met and began playing with some of L.A.'s very best musicians, including Bobby Troup, Chico Hamilton and Barney Kessel. This led to a job with Bobby Troup and circa 1956 to a solo recording contract with Verve Records. At around that same time as he signed with Verve, Howard decided to concentrate on recording/studio work - work that he would do nearly non- stop until the early 1970's.

Howard's studio career has to be one of the most prolific ever. He played rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass and even mandolin on an incredible number of television and movie projects. He also backed jazz, pop, country and rock 'n roll artists, and was heard on thousands of records over his career.

But Howard wasn't just a first call studio musician. Beginning in the late 60's Howard's interest in studio work diminished. He began to travel and hold guitar seminars all around the country. Howard had a genuine talent for teaching and curriculum development, a talent he shared with his wife Patty. This interest/talent led to the founding of a school for guitarists: GIT (The Guitar Institute of Technology). He also established Playback Publishing and wrote several books as part of a structured guitar music curriculum. And if that wasn't enough, for several years Howard wrote a monthly column (”Jazz Improvisation”) for Guitar Player magazine.

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