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Max Kutner

Max Kutner ( is a guitarist and composer originally from Las Vegas, NV. He began playing guitar at the age of 11 after becoming enamored with a cassette of Will Smith’s “Big Willie Style”. Shortly thereafter, he discovered and devoured myriad artists through voraciously watching MTV. Also he spent hours listening to his grandfather’s record collection. Max’s grandfather was a performing saxophonist, singer and bandleader in New York for nearly 40 years. Max also loitered in various record stores where he would often sample nearly half a dozen albums a day for the bulk of his adolescence. His tastes and interests were augmented further during his studies at University of Nevada, Reno and especially at the renowned California Institute of the Arts where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in 2009 and Master’s of Fine Art in 2011 respectively.

Max’s style, both as composer and performer, favors the incorporation of extensive free improvisation, extended techniques and a willful blindness to the handles of hi-brow and lo-brow art-making. He also focuses very intently on using space and context as the catalyst for performance and avoids the loathsome trappings of guitar idioms wherever possible. Since 2010, he has performed in many notable events at REDCAT, The Blue Whale, Catalina’s Jazz Club, The Coach House, The Carriage House, The Wild Beast, The Syracuse Jazz Festival, The Byron Bay Bluesfest, Beyond Baroque and many more. He has toured Europe and Australia extensively as well as a member of the Grandmothers of Invention whom he has been a member of since 2013. Additionally, he previously served on the Adjunct Faculty at the California Institute of the Arts as a guitar instructor. He has performed with Ulrich Krieger, Sofia Gubaidulia, Mike Keneally, Miroslav Tadic, John French, Denny Walley, Mark Boston, Johnny “Vatos” Hernandez, Don Preston and also for the Montreal Guitar Quartet and Carlos Barbosa-Lima in master classes.

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”Nerdly but fiery” - The Arcata Eye