Jeff Gower started studying guitar in 1969 (via Aaron Shearer's "Classic Guitar Technique" series, William Leavitt's excellent Berklee "Modern Method For Guitar" series, and Mickey Baker's jazz books, amongst others) - his first teacher was the late Jerry Davis from North Carolina (a great teacher and person, in whose memory he has composed two tribute works: A Student's Praise for solo guitar, and Blue Symphony for voice and guitar). Jerry started him on his way to developing the most important musical skill of all - the ability to play by ear. That, and his genuine love for ALL music styles (he saw the good in it all), were greatly influential to Jeff.

For most of his musical life, he has performed fingerstyle classical (nylon-string) guitar, even though he has enjoyed some satisfying musical collaborations while performing on electric guitar also. The classical guitar is such a thing of beauty, and it's tonal purity and range are unparalleled, in his opinion.

He grew up listening to other fingerstyle nylon-string jazzers and popsters such as Charlie Byrd (my young-childhood guitar hero), Laurindo Almeida, Jose Feliciano, Mason Williams, Ralph Towner, Gene Bertoncini, Luiz Bonfa, and others. Also, some other major influences have been electric guitarists Terje Rypdal (his sense of space and the passionate human-voice nature of his phrases), Jan Akkerman (his rich harmonies and signature legato fade-away solo phrases), Mike Oldfield (his avoidance of rock-guitar cliches in favor of genuinely heartfelt melodicism), and John McLaughlin (his passionate, energetic, blissful solos over rhythmically complex harmonies). Also, such popular and classical composers as Burt Bacharach, Frederick Delius, Larry Cansler, Claus Ogermann, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, Aaron Copland, Todd Rundgren, Randy Newman, Jimmy Webb, Antonio Carlos Jobim, etc. - the rich harmonic voicings and textures of such composers and tunesmiths were greatly influential to him.

His own music is a product of his passionate enthusiasm for the rich harmonic, improvisational and rhythmic elements of jazz, fused with the melodic and nostalgic elements of the popular musical forms of the 1960s, all held together with the structural elements ingrained from my classical studies. He has composed well over a hundred solo guitar works, plus dozens of vocal songs. In September 1999 he released his first solo CD Lakeside Drive, with all original compositions performed on solo guitar.

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