Born in 1965, guitar player Wolfgang Muthspiel lives in Vienna. 30 CDs with mainly his own compositions document his work as bandleader and co-leader.
Being trained as a classical musician he approaches the acoustic guitar with the same ease as improvisation and jazz.
His Mozart-loving father encouraged him to start with violin playing at age six. At the age 14, he switched to guitar and started to create his own music with his brother Christian. His interest for improvisation led on to jazz.
He moved to Boston/Massachusetts and attended the Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship in 1986 where Mick Goodrick introduced him to complex harmonic worlds. In 1988 he started a 2-year touring period with the Gary Burton Band and acquired an outstanding reputation in the jazz scene. In the mid-nineties he arrived in the capital of Jazz, New York City, where he lived and worked until 2002. This city offered him a unique platform for pursuing different projects. Together with the singer Rebekka Bakken he explored the world of the singer/songwriter while with his brother he pursued their common electronic project Muthspiel/Muthspiel. At the same time he acted as a reliable and ingenious sideman for Trilok Gurtu, Dhafer Youssef, Youssou N’Dour, Maria João, Dave Liebman, Peter Erskine, Paul Motian, Bob Berg, Gary Peacock, Don Alias, Larry Grenadier, John Patitucci, Dieter Ilg, the Vienna Art Orchestra and many others.
Year in Review
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radical, heavy, irresistibly engulfing, like the Vortex itself. This is an
outstanding gig, played to a sold-out audience
—John L Walters, The Guardian, 1/16/03
A natural virtuoso. On the electric guitar he can produce sounds as light and
nimble as a harp's; on the violin he is alert and steely. Partly composed and
partly improvised, his pieces included homages to Stravinsky, his jazz colleague
Paul Motian and the Beatles.
—Paul Griffiths, The New York Times
Rivetingly original, thoughtful and totally absorbing without being forbiddingly
esoteric; firmly structured but allowing just enough space for free individual
—Chris Parker, The Times, London