John Jorgenson – A Virtuoso on Guitar, Bouzouki and Mandolin

John Jorgenson is mainly known as a guitar player playing gypsy jazz with his John Jorgenson Quintet.

John Jorgenson is known as one of the pioneers of the American gypsy jazz movement.  He has performed as a solo artist as well as collaborated with other musicians all over the world.  His articles and lessons on gypsy jazz have appeared in prominent guitar magazines and he has given master classes around the country, and he has performed with some of the most respected European proponents of this style, Bireli Lagrene and Romane.  His playing has been included on a CD with Babik Reinhardt and Jimmy Rosenberg, and on another featuring Angelo Debarre and Moreno.  In 1988 Curb Records released Jorgenson’s After You’ve Gone CD, a collection of Reinhardt- and Goodman-styled 30’s swing, featuring guest artists Darol Anger and David Grisman.

But when I recently discovered the latest NPR concert on Mountain Stage with the John Jorgenson Quintet I saw the picture with John Jorgenson playing a Greek bouzouki. Indeed did John Jorgenson play one piece of the set with the Greek bouzouki.

I have collected some videos with John Jorgenson and his Greek bouzouki in my playlist.

Later I found some other videos showing John Jorgenson with mandolin too. Especially the following video from 1981 shows the fantastic mandolin paying of John Jorgenson (only 129 views – this video should get more views now!):

TMB / Kentucky Mandolin

The Thunder Mountain Boys were hired by Disneyland in 1978. John Jorgenson (mandolin virtuoso) went from knowing a little bit about the mandolin in 1978 to what you hear at the filming of this video in 1981. John’s father was a conductor and his mother a pianist so music came to him naturally, but the talent is all his. Playing oboe as a kid in his father’s classical orchestra John quickly looked to other musical sources for inspiration. The Beatles became an instant obession and the guitar his principal instrument as time moved on. John left the Thunder Mountain Boys in the mid-eighties to create a band with Chris Hillman and Herb Pederson called The Desert Rose Band. By the nineties John’s reputation as a multi-instrumentalist had grown to the point that he was asked to tour with Elton John. Now living in Nashville with his wife Dixie John works as a studio musician backing some of the biggest acts around and he continues to tour with The Desert Rose Band from time to time. Doug Mattocks had gotten John interested in the music of Django Reinhardt in the early eighties and now John leads his own gypsy style band called the John Jorgenson Quintet which tours all over the world.

You can hear the John Jorgenson Quintet with gypsy jazz in two concerts at the NPR, I have added the links below.

Playlist John Jorgenson

Additional Information

Homepage John Jorgenson:

NPR concerts:

John Jorgenson on Mountain Stage 2008:

John Jorgenson on Mountain Stage 2011:

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