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Ryan Blotnick

Ryan Blotnick has been called “a vital contemporary voice” by Time Out New York, “an authentic, compelling player” by Cadence Magazine, and has garnered praise from fellow guitarists John Abercrombie, Steve Cardenas and Ben Monder. As part of one of the last generations to study with 1960s era masters like Gene Bertoncini, Harold Mabern, Yusef Lateef, Billy Taylor and Andrew Cyrille, Blotnick developed a deep respect for the post-bop and free-jazz traditions, while simultaneously being exposed to current directions in European and American improvisation. His interest in creative composition has led him to work with artists such as Michael Blake, Pete Robbins, Bill McHenry, Mat Maneri, and Tyshawn Sorey, who have each carved out their own niche at the forefront of modern jazz. His own compositions draw on an eclectic mix of genres and display a rich understanding of harmony and lyricism. His latest release Kush (2016) mines a bittersweet melodic/harmonic vein balanced by an African-influenced rhythmic elan. Conceived as an antidote to the more aggressive forms of New York jazz, Kush offers freshly-minted waltzes, haunting ballads and more than a touch of Frisellian Americana, as well as a variety of grooves combining jazz and African feels.

Ryan Blotnick (born April 30, 1983) is professional musician living in Southwest Harbor, Maine. He grew up in Kennebunkport, Maine and became interested in jazz after being exposed to musicians like Gregory Tardy and George Garzone at Maine Jazz Camp. In high school he was in the All-State Jazz Combo and won the Corning Jazz Prize with his trio. At William Paterson University he studied with Gene Bertoncini and Paul Meyers, and played with classmates such as Mark Guiliana and Sam Barsh.

Ryan Blotnick first appeared in New York in 2004 as a ‘reverse exchange student’ from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, becoming one of the first Americans to complete the Musician/Soloist Graduate Program, together with Ned Ferm. His association with the Danish Conservatory between 2002 and 2006 allowed him to form relationships with some very unique European musicians, and study with Steve Cardenas, Lionel Loueke, Ben Street and Lee Konitz in New York and with Jakob Bro and Bjarne Roupé in Denmark. His collaborative group Ugly Customer won the Danish Young Jazz Competition and performed at the Stockholm Jazz Festival and Copenhagen Jazzhouse. As part of the large ensemble Forkert, he played at the Nordischer Klang Festival in Greifswald, Germany and around Denmark. His projects for school involved large ensemble compositions and recordings with some of the big names in Danish jazz today, such as Kresten Osgood, Kasper Tranberg and Jonas Westergaard.

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"A moody, unforced album rich in nuances... The mastery of space and tone within an improvisational setting is an art few have truly mastered; with Kush, Ryan Blotnick has shown himself to be among such rare masters" —S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Knock Down the House

Milan Records



Songlines Recordings


Solo, Volume I

Self Produced


Everything Forgets

Songlines Recordings


Music Needs You

Songlines Recordings




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