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John McLaughlin (b. 1942) led the Mahavishnu Orchestra and a series of other bands that stretched the boundaries of jazz-rock fusion and world music, as he inspired guitarists worldwide with his inventiveness and devotion to exotic sounds and spirituality. McLaughlin started on guitar when he was 11 and was initially inspired by blues and swing players. McLaughlin worked with Alexis ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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By turns avant-garde adventurer, high-voltage rocker and Third World explorer, Yorkshire-born guitarist John McLaughlin has seldom repeated himself. Born in 1942, McLaughlin studied piano from the age of nine and taught himself guitar after becoming interested in country blues, flamenco and Django Reinhardt. A gig with Pete Deuchar’s Professors of Ragtime in 1958 was his ticket to ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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c. 1390–1453 English composer Dunstaple was the best known of an influential group of English composers which included Power. To judge by the number of his works in continental manuscripts, he was probably one of the most important composers of his day in Europe, although he may not have travelled particularly widely. He wrote early Mass cycles, including ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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c. 1562–1628 English composer and keyboard player The English composer and keyboard player John Bull was by all evidence an extraordinary musician. His name headed the list of members of the Chapel Royal who attended the funeral of Elizabeth I in 1603. He was also an organ-builder and a scholar. A Catholic with a difficult personality, he often found himself ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1563–1626 English composer and lutenist Dowland was the greatest lute-song composer of the early seventeenth century. His conversion to Catholicism in the early 1580s may have contributed to his lack of professional success. Twice disappointed in applications for a post at court, he travelled and then worked on the continent. By November 1598 he was employed at the court of ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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c. 1490–1545 English composer Taverner’s career fell entirely within the reign of Henry VIII. Apparently on good terms with the king’s most powerful ministers (first with Wolsey and then with Cromwell), he must have been an astute politician. Most of his music, which is thought to have been composed mostly in the 1520s and 30s, is firmly in the ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1574–1638 English composer Although not as prolific as some of his contem­poraries, Wilbye made a substantial contribution to the English madrigal. Like Weelkes, he was influenced by Morley’s light-hearted canzonets and ballets; later he turned to a more serious style, producing some of the repertory’s most poignant works. Madrigals like ‘Weepe O Mine Eies’ (1598) and ‘Draw on ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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John Fahey (1939–2001) was an American fingerstyle guitarist, composer, folklorist, intellectual and eccentric. Influenced by the folk and blues traditions of America, he incorporated classical, Brazilian, Indian and abstract music into his works. His moody instrumentals foreshadowed new-age music, but Fahey’s intensity makes him more closely aligned with rock. His eclectic approach won him ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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Classical guitarist-composer John Christopher Williams (b. 1941) is a Grammy-Award winning Australian classical guitarist who has explored many styles beyond the classical tradition. John’s father Leonard (Len) Williams was an accomplished guitarist who emigrated from Britain to Australia and was best known there for his jazz playing. He taught John to play guitar, and it soon became apparent that the ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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John Renbourn (b. 1944) is a father of contemporary British folk music and an acknowledged master of fingerstyle guitar. He is best known for his collaboration with guitarist Bert Jansch and his work with the folk group Pentangle. Renbourn created music that fused British and Celtic folk with blues, jazz, British early music, classical guitar and Eastern forms. ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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John Abercrombie (b. 1944) is a stylist who has managed to incorporate flavours of folk and rock along with world-music influences into his jazz-based repertoire. He was a highly influential fusion guitarist in the late Sixties and Seventies and has had an abundant career, working solo and with a multitude of collaborators, including Billy Cobham, Ralph Towner, ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
366 Words Read More

British singer-songwriter and guitarist John Martyn (b. 1948) was born Iain David McGeachy in England. In his 40-year career he has released 20 studio albums. Martyn’s parents divorced when he was five, and he spent his childhood in England and Scotland. Martyn’s musical career began when he was 17. He blended blues and folk into a unique style, working ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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Considered one of modern jazz guitar’s ‘big three’ guitarists – along with Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell – John Scofield (b. 1951) is also one of the most versatile players of his generation. Conversant in fusion and hard bop as well as in the heady grooves of the jam-band scene, his stew of blues and jazz mixed with post-bop and ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
412 Words Read More

Johnny Hiland (b. 1975) is one of the top guitarists to emerge from the Nashville music scene in recent years. His playing combines country chicken pickin’ with elements of blues, metal and jazz. Often compared to Danny Gatton, Hiland displays an amazing vocabulary as he plays seemingly effortlessly onstage. His skill is also noteworthy because he is legally blind ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
352 Words Read More

Defying categorization with his blend of rock, blues, country and melodic pop styles, Eric Johnson is highly revered by guitarists of all genres for his skill and perfectionism on stage and in the studio, and for his uniquely rich, overdriven tone. Born in 1954, Johnson grew up in Austin, Texas. Encouraged by his parents ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
407 Words Read More
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Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

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