Fingerstyle Guitar has a talent group of columnists who write for our publication. We'd like to take a moment to highlight them and direct you to their personal websites.
- Bill Piburn
- John Knowles
- Tim Thompson
- Pete Huttlinger
- Andrew York
- John Buscarino
- John McClellan
- Rick Foster
- Joe LoPiccolo
- Roger Hudson
- Vahagn "Vahagni" Turgutyan
Bill Piburn grew up in a musical family in Kansas City, Mo. His grandfather, Grant Leonard Piburn, was a violinist who played on live radio shows in the 1930s and '40s. His father was a professional guitarist and singer. Bill got his first guitar at age ten and began learning to play the guitar from his father. By age fourteen, he was playing three nights a week in his father's band and keeping hours that did not meet with his mother's approval. He began private study with Douglas Niedt at age sixteen and,at nineteen, was selected to be a performer in Christopher Parkening's first master class at Montana State University. Bill attended Parkening's summer classes for the next two years and, in 1979, moved to Montana to participate in Parkening's master classes. He returned to Kansas City and began to study jazz harmony with KC legend John Elliott. Bill has been the editor of Fingerstyle Guitar magazine for the past ten years. He was first published in 1995 with an anthology of fiddle tunes. Over the years, Bill has written five books that have been published by Hal Leonard and Mel Bay Publishers. Guitar greats Chet Atkins, Martin Taylor, Earl Klugh and Johnny Smith have all given Bill high praise for his playing, arranging, and teaching.
John Knowles got his start on a plastic ukulele he bought with paper-route money. A few years later, he traded up to a guitar, bought a Chet Atkins album and began learning to play along.
John has gone on to work with some of the world's finest guitarists including Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Lenny Breau and Tommy Emmanuel. His music has been recorded by Chet, Jerry, Tommy, the Romero Family and James Galway. His "Gorilla Song" (co-written with his son Jay) is an international hit with recordings by Raffi (Canada) and XUXA (Brazil.)
John performs and teaches around the world and publishes FingerStyle Quarterly. His work has earned a Grammy and two Emmy nominations. In 1996, Chet Atkins awarded John an Honorary CGP (Certified Guitar Player) and recently, John was inducted into the National Thumb Pickers Hall of Fame for the second time. He earned his PhD in physics from Texas Christian University in 1968.
Tim Thompson is a native of Minnesota where he grew up in a musical family. He began playing piano at age nine and then moved to the trombone. Tim was first taught guitar by his older brother and by fourteen was playing professionally.
Tim has made Nashville his home for the last fifteen years where he works playing demo sessions, producing and playing live jazz with his trio. Tim won second place in the 2008 Fingerstyle Championship in Winfield, Kansas and is the reigning 2008 International Fingerstyle champion. He is a regular contributor to Fingerstyle Guitar and has also been featured in Taylor guitars Wood and Steel magazine and Mel Bay's Guitar Sessions. A feature article is to appear on Tim in the May 2009 issue of Just Jazz Guitar. Tim is as equally at home playing on a country or rock session, or playing jazz and fingerstyle.
Pete Huttlinger has become widely known as one of the most awe-inspiring acoustic guitar players in the world. His unique arrangements and spell-binding musicality and precision have entertained audiences all from Los Angeles to Milan.
As a recording artist Huttlinger has released numerous albums and received wide-acceptance ranging from his critically acclaimed "Naked Pop" to his current release "Fingerpicking Wonder - The Music of Stevie Wonder." Praise from the media has been overwhelmingly positive and Huttlinger continues to expand his musical breadth.
In 2007, Huttlinger made his debut at New York City's Carnegie Hall. He was invited back in 2008 and made his first appearance there as a solo artist demonstrating what audiences around the world know him best for - his fantastic sense of humor and mind-blowing chops all combined to make a full-on, entertaining 90 minutes of laughter and chin-dropping. In 2004 and 2007, he was invited to participate in both Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festivals.
Huttlinger also makes appearances as a side-man. Country/pop superstar LeAnn Rimes often requests him for her acoustic performances. Some of the most recent ones include the filming of "Live From Abbey Road" a BBC TV series taped at the famous London studios. It aired in America on BRAVO! Huttlinger also appeared with Rimes on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" and made an acoustic recording with her that was sold as an exclusive download through Kellogg's.
Andrew York is one of today's most visible and innovative classical guitar composers, winning a GRAMMY with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet during their sixteen-year partnership. Andrew's discography includes "California Breeze," a new recording for Sony Japan, three solo CD's for the GSP label, ten CD's with the LAGQ on Delos, Sony and Telarc labels, as well as inclusion on Rhino Records "Legends of Guitar" and numerous other compilations.
In film, Andrew shares the stage with artists Eric Johnson, Albert Lee, Doc Watson, and Mason Williams in the documentary "Primal Twang." Written by Dan Crary, this film will be released in February 2007.
For the last decade, Andrew's concert touring schedule has spanned more than thirty countries. Recent concerts include BogotÃ¡ Columbia, Ankara Turkey and Andrew's eleventh tour of Japan.
In 2006 Andrew recorded and performed with the Atlanta symphony for the opera "Ainadamar" by Osvaldo Golijov. The recording of "Ainadamar" (Deutsche Gramophone) won two GRAMMY awards.
York's compositions have been recorded by guitar luminaries John Williams, Christopher Parkening, Scott Tennant and William Kanengiser. As a published composer, York's works appear in print worldwide through Alfred Publications, Hal Leonard, Mel Bay Publications, Guitar Solo Publications, Doberman-Yppan in Canada, Ricordi in London, and in Japan through Gendai and Rittor Music.
Andrew is a virtuoso classical and jazz guitarist; an extremely rare combination. As a classical guitarist, Andrew received a grant from the Del Amo Foundation for Study in Spain, and as a jazz player studied with Joe Diorio and Lenny Breau. Andrew received his Master of Music degree from University of Southern California, and is the only USC graduate in the school's history to twice receive the Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award - in 1997 as a member of LAGQ and in 2003 as the sole recipient.
John Buscarino is unique among today's guitar builders in that he apprenticed will not one but two master luthiers. The first was Augustine LoPrinzi, from whom John learned the finer points of building classical guitars. John later worked with famed archtop builder Robert Benedetto spending years perfecting the woodworking skills that today make him a master luthier in his own right.
John has created hundreds of exquisite guitars using proven methods passed down over generations. He constantly refines these time-tested techniques, taking each to new levels of perfection in mastering the art of lutherie.
John clients include, George Benson, Russell Malone, Albert Lee, Steve Morse and Gene Bertoncini among many of todays greatest players.
John McClellan earned his Master of Music degree at the St. Louis Conservatory of Music. Further studies followed at Yale University with guitarist Benjamin Verdery, Brazilian cellist Aldo Parisot and Bach scholar and harpsichordist Anthony Newman. John is currently the Professor of Guitar for Webster University, serves on the advisory boards of Mel Bay Publications and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and is executive director of the St. Louis Guitar Consortium, Inc. John is the author of the fastest-selling book in the history of Mel Bay Publications, Chet Atkins in Three Dimensions, Volumes 1, and 2. John is also the author of the DVD, Chet Licks.
John performed with Luciano Pavarotti during his last World Tour and has recorded with "non-classical" artists such as Vince Gill and Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits). John has done major tours of the U.S. and Australia both as a sololist as well as with his duo partner Kirk Hanser. His first solo recording was titled Dedications. John lives O'Fallon, Missouri with his wife, Diane, and their four children.
At the debut of the Contemporary Christian Music scene Rick Foster was in the forefront as a solo classical guitarist . He was the first to play a full concert of sacred music on the classical guitar. He was also the first to arrange and record an album of sacred music for solo guitar. That album, Hymns for Classic Guitar, was a milestone in guitar recordings.
Rick's skillfully crafted music has drawn a Dove Award nomination from the Gospel Music Association for Gospel Instrumentalist of the the Year. He appeared as a guest of the Angels Broadcasting Network.
Rick began playing the Hawaiian steel guitar at age eleven and shortly thereafter took up the 6 and 12-string guitars, playing with a flat pick. At age 14 he began playing electric guitar in a surf-rock band in Southern California. About this time he was exposed to the fingerstyle recordings of Chet Atkins and Andrés Segovia.
During Rick's first year of college he attended a recital by guitarist, Andrés Segovia. Highly inspired, he enrolled as the first guitar major in the newly formed guitar department at Cal State College in Fullerton, California. At age 18 he began teaching guitar. During the next 20 years he made his living teaching and playing in restaurants, all the while developing the playing and arranging techniques that led to his first album of hymns. That album, Hymns for Classic Guitar, was to become the first in a series of albums that eventually resulted in enough arrangements for Rick to present a full length concert of sacred music on the guitar.
Ricks arrangements have been recorded by Christopher Parkening and Chet Atkins.
Rick's latest release is Remembrance of Chet Atkins - a tribute to his longtime friend and recorded on guitars given to him by Chet.
Joe LoPiccolo is a guitarist and composer whose work is influenced by Classical, Jazz and World Music styles. Writer Dan O'Heron of the Pasadena Weekly states his music is "Soft spoken eloquence, fascinatingly improvised." and "The music is comforting and visual, it takes you to a better place, a paradise found." Guitarist Andrew York, formerly of the Grammy Award winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet states "Having exceptional ability in both classical and jazz genres is very rare; Joe excels in both styles." Andy Ellis, senior editor of Guitar Player magazine stated "LoPiccolo's impeccably executed, imaginative arrangements reveal his mastery of the guitar and its most subtle timbres."
Joe LoPiccolo is a graduate of The California Institute of the Arts, receiving his BFA in Jazz Guitar and his MFA in Guitar Performance. He studied guitar extensively with Larry Koonse and Miroslav Tadic and took additional composition and orchestration classes with Mike Fink and Alan Chaplin. In addition to his BFA and MFA he is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music Youth Summer Program. He has continued his education beyond his degrees with masterclasses and workshops with master guitarists Guinga, Paco Serrano and Mick Goodrick.
During the pursuit of his Masters degree he was a Wasserman Scholar and Teaching Assistant for the Guitar Program. He is an adjunct professor of music at Mt. San Antonio College and College of the Canyons where he teaches Group Guitar, World Music, Guitar Improvisation and Individual Guitar Instruction. He has self published 2 instructional texts, "Guitar Mosaic" and "Improvisation for Guitarists" and was a contributor to Andrew York's "Jazz Guitar For Classical Cats" Vols. 1 and 3 (Alfred).
Joe is a columnist for Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine, writing a column entitled "The Global Guitarist". He has been an ASCAP Plus Award recipient for the past 8 years and won the Guitar Player Magazine "Reader's Challenge" in February of 2006. Joe has Endorsement or Artist deals with La Bella Strings, Peak Music Stands, Acoustic Image Amplifiiers, Finale Notation Software, Godin Guitars, Line 6, LR Baggs Pickups and Phil Jones (AAD) Amplifiers.
Recent projects include a duo with Rivers Cuomo of Weezer for Sirius Radio and a duo with guitarist Vahagn Turgutyan. His newest CD "Night" was just released summer 2009.
Roger Hudson began playing rock and blues guitar by ear at age 12 and began teaching guitar at 16. His desire to be a composer led him into classical training and ultimately earning a Master of Music degree in music theory from Georgia State University. He studied with Christopher Berg, John Sutherland and Christopher Parkening. Roger has had several compositions and collections published by Mel Bay. The United Kingdom's magazine Classical Guitar described his music as "sparkling and wonderful." Roger currently teaches at MTSU in Murfressboro, Tn. and Austin Peay in Clarksville, Tn. Fingerstyle Guitar magazine regularly offers Roger's successful Fingerstyle Basic column which provides playable new music and tips on guitar technique.
Vahagn "Vahagni" Turgutyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia in 1985. Brought up in a family of Artist's, Vahagni's father Sarkis Turgutyan, Guitar soloist for the National Philharmonic of Armenia, Mother Satenik ShahNazaryan, a theatrical Actress, and Uncle Artur Shahnazaryan, an Ethno-Musicologist and National Artistic Director of Armenia, all influenced and nourished Vahagni's musical development. Vahagni began playing the Guitar at the age of Nine under the instruction of his Father. At a very young age Vahagni showed a great interest in Flamenco Music. After several years of studies with his Father, Vahagni embarked on the first of his numerous trips to Andalusia, Spain. Under the Guidance of world famous Flamenco guitarist Paco Serrano, Vahagni spent over Two years mastering his craft , and participating in numerous Festivals in Andalusia. During the" Cursos Superior del Guitarra Flamenca" held in Malaga, Vahagni got the opportunity to play for his childhood idol and Legendary Flamenco Guitarist, Manolo Sanlucar. It was Vahagni's original and unique sound that impressed the Maestro, which led to a rare offer to study as a disciple of Sanlucar.
Upon returning to the United States, Vahagni recorded his first self produced album "Short Stories" (available on iTunes and CD baby) The album features musicians such as Jimmy Branly, Carlitos del Puerto and Luis Conte to name a few. Vahagni's guitar playing has taken him on several World Tours, Festivals, Clinics. and appearances on TV and Radio shows. Vahagni teaches Guitar at the College of the Canyons and is a columnist for Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine called Flamenco-ology. Vahagni is endorsed by Larrybella strings, Godin Guitars and Andres Dominguez Guitars.