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Samuel Mösching, Joe Giglio, Dave Kain and Juampy Juarez

Dom Minasi By

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Welcome to Guitarists Rendezvous, our first installment in a series that introduces readers to emerging or established guitarists who fly just under the radar of public recognition. Each will field the same four questions and we've included audio and video so you can sample their music.

We kick of the column with a diverse group of musicians from Switzerland, Buenos Aires and New York.

So without further ado...

Meet Samuel Mösching

Born in Thun, Switzerland in 1986. This well traveled 28 year old musician now resides in Chicago on an artist Visa. Drummer Jimmy Bennington recently brought Samuel to my attention. He may not be well known in America, but he is certainly someone who could stand out with his particular sound and style.

Q: How long have you played the guitar?

A: I have been playing for 18 years now.

Q: Who are your major influences?

A: J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy and Paul Hindemith are my strongest influences. In jazz I would say Wayne Shorter from his early years and Eric Dolphy. On guitar I am most influenced by my peers. Chicago guitarists Matt Gold and Bobby Broom to name two.

Q: Why jazz?

A: Jazz has a very indigenous element for me. Something in the way it's performed is very natural, at least in the U.S. Although it is comparable to the high music forms of European classical in its complexity, it still is performed as a ritual and in a way of celebration. Jazz has kept a dancing approach. I think the connection between mind, spirit and body is still the essential part of good jazz.

Q: Where do you think jazz is headed?

A: That depends on how I define jazz. If I look at it as culture that peaked in the '40s and '50s, then it's going to head slowly into where classical European music is now. Its purpose will be one of conserving it as a culture. For sure a culture that is worthy of conservation. Improvisation would still add an element of here and now. If I had to define jazz as contemporary art, it is a mirror of the present time. That means it will always change and is never going to stop developing. I think there will be some major geographical changes to the music. The young musicians want to play as much as possible to get better and learn new things, so they will go to where it is possible to survive and play. If they relocate, they will fuse with a new culture and create something modern. It has happened several times in jazz before and it will happen again. I think that more and more musicians will learn how to truly improvise and get away from the common licks. A lot of the great players from the past were already telling stories in their own language. I think the focus will get back to that. I also think musicians will become more aware of the spiritual side of music and will focus on how to combine both that will define their own music.



Meet Joe Giglio

Around ten years ago, I heard this great guitarist playing outside my window at our annual block party. I looked out and saw this guy burning it up with a trio. Soon after, I started getting emails from some of the best guitarists in the New York Tri-Sate area saying that they were playing at a restaurant called, W 107 with a guitarist named Joe Giglio. Eventually I made it to one of these gigs and lo and behold, there was that guitarist. Joe and I soon became friends and it turned out that he lives one block from me. Besides being a wonderful guitarist, Joe is jovial and warm and someone you love hanging out with. Every once in a while, Joe and I get together and jam. If you live in New York City you will know what I mean when I say, Joe and I have run into each other many times moving our cars to the other side of the street.

Q: How long have you played the guitar?

A: I have been playing guitar since I was ten years old. Prior to that I played the piano and French horn. I wanted a guitar from the moment I saw Ricky Nelson on The Ozzie and Harriet Show, singing and playing. I really dug his lead guitarist, James Burton, a lot.

Q: Who are you major influences?

A: Hearing John Coltrane was my first jazz experience. My hipster, older cousin Tony played records for me. John Coltrane was his main man. He also played Charles Lloyd, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, and Maynard Ferguson for me. It was a cool experience to realize that though they played very differently, Coltrane and Maynard were both playing jazz. I think it opened up my mind to listen without judgment. This all started when I was about 12.

Q: Why jazz?

A: Improvisation. From the moment heard of improvisation I knew that was where it was at for me. Why would I want to play the same thing every time? Jazz was a serious, yet accessible musical form. I think it helped that I grew up in a house where standard tunes were always being played by my parents. My mom sang and played piano and my dad played violin and French horn. To me, improvisation is a holy endeavor; it is what fulfills me.

Q: Where do you think jazz is headed?

A: Over a cliff in a shopping cart. Seriously, I don't know where it is going. I know that I love to play, and that people seem to enjoy what I do. I have no grand notion about the direction of jazz, just as I have no notion of where society is headed. Basically, I work on trying to sound like the music I hear in my dreams. If I can get within striking distance of that, I will be satisfied.



Meet Dave Kain

The great thing about social media is you get to meet lots of musicians. I joined Facebook about five years ago and immediately started making friends with many musicians. One day I watched a video of a guitarist I didn't know, but damn, he could play and he looked like he was 22 years old. That was Dave Kain. Turns out, that baby-faced guitarist is now 39 years old and lives in Westchester, N.Y. We became friends and Dave has studied with some of the best guitarist in the area. Vic Juris, and Jack Wilkins to name a few. Time and study has paid off for Dave. Two years ago I downloaded two of his CD's and they were excellent. I thought if there was some way I could help him, I would. Cue Guitarists Rendezvous.

Q: How long have you played the guitar?

A: I've been playing guitar over 25 years. I've been studying and performing jazz a little under 20 years.

Q: Who are you major influences?

A: As far as jazz influences there are many. Speaking in terms of guitar, Jimmy Raney is a huge influence and definitely my favorite more traditional player along with the obvious, Joe Pass, Tal Farlow, Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery. Kurt Rosenwinkel, Pat Metheny, Allan Holdsworth, John Abercrombie, Jesse van Ruller and John McLaughlin I would say they are bigger influences than the previously mentioned. I looked to them for compositional inspiration as well as guitar influences. Non-guitar players were and are still a big influence on me. Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, John Coltrane and a slew of other guys but those are definitely the standouts for me. I listen to a lot of different styles. I actually grew up on heavy metal. Iron Maiden, Metallica, Anthrax and Ozzy Osbourne were really where I first fell in love with music. I stopped listening to a lot of it once I started studying jazz. But in recent years, I've started listening to them again and trying to find new artists to enjoy along with my old favorites.

Q: Why jazz?

A: Jazz gives me the most room to improvise. It's really that simple for me. That's what I love to do and that's why I was drawn to it. I also love to compose. My main goal is writing good music. I'm not trying to write something that I can just improvise over and show-off my abilities (or lack thereof.) I want to improvise over good music. I don't see why I can't do both. Write a good tune and move somebody with it. Play a good solo or improvisation, and move somebody with it. That's all I want to do and jazz is the most comfortable vehicle for me to do so.

Q: Where do you think jazz is headed?

A: I don't think like that at all. When I scroll through my social media news feed, this question and other similar questions are debated and discussed so much it's exhausting; who cares?? If somebody told you jazz was headed this way or that way, what effect does that really have on where YOU are headed? None. I tell students, peers and anyone interested to just do what you want. I don't understand why jazz has to be so analyzed and defined. Just play, compose, perform and most of all enjoy the time you get to have with it in whatever capacity. This question doesn't have to be answered. Jazz will always be here, period! There will always be people keeping the more traditional form of it alive. There will always be people pushing the boundaries and writing new music. The real concerning question to me is where is the music business headed? Not just jazz, but also all of it. That is something that makes me sad but that's another discussion altogether.

With so much music around and so many guitarists to listen to, it is virtually impossible to sound new and have your own signature but Dave has done it.



Meet Juampy Juarez

Facebook led me to another great guitarist. I don't remember if he became friends with me, or me him, but no matter—it's been a pleasure knowing Juampy.

Juampy was born, bred and lives in Buenos Aires. He studied with a who's who of jazz guitarists including Pat Martino and Jonathan Kreisberg. He also studied with the guru of jazz harmony and theory,Barry Harris. What drew me to him was his approach to the music and his playing. I have watched many videos of Juampy and am always impressed by his openness and wonderful personality. In particular the videos with fellow guitarist John Stowell.

Q: How long have you played the guitar?

A: I have been playing since I was 13 years old, and I began to take guitar lessons at the age of 16. My first teacher was Marcelo Mayor, a monster jazz player from La Pampa, Argentina. I studied with him for three years, then six months with his teacher, Armando Alonso, and three years with Carlos Campos, then five years with Pino Marrone, my main mentor.

Q: Who are you major influences?
About Samuel Mösching
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