Roch Lockyer

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About Roch Lockyer


Roch picked up his first guitar at the age of three, but it would be over thirty years later after a life in endurance athletics and various other austerities that he would study music. After returning from a trip to India in 2003 Roch sought out the guidance of master guitarist Jimmy Bruno and began his musical journey in earnest. After several months of study Roch began sitting in and playing locally wherever his gypsy existence found him to roam. Though essentially self-taught Roch wishes to thank all the musicians that he has had the privilege of playing with and learning from.
“Only recently have I begun to honor my own path and the direction of my fledgling musical journey. Having begun the pursuit of music at what in this age of ‘prodigies’ is considered a relatively late stage, I have begun to realize my strength comes from the belief that I am not actually pursuing any sort of final destination other than the rewards inherent in practicing, and participating on any given day. Given some aptitude anyone can learn to speak a foreign language as an adult, but once that person is fluent, the structure of language is only as useful as what the speaker has to say according to their own life experience. I enjoy a conversation with someone who quotes themselves more than others. I am finding solace in recognizing my own unique voice that is already manifest in all that I do...with this music being an expression of that. My musical language does not come from copying, transcribing, or parroting those that I admire. I find joy in the process of learning a Bach prelude, or arranging a bit of DeBussey for the guitar, or listening to the jazz greats, but I know better than to try and compare myself to, or try to be like these masters. In the attempts to become something, a student of music can often forget that the people they want to emulate were just people living their lives and fighting the good fight...trying to find a sense of purpose and meaning like anyone who lives. It just so happens that over time (and sometimes great lengths of time relative to the artists lives) listeners and observers noticed that these artists made themselves available as conduits for the highest possible within the realm of human expression. I think we all have the capacity to do this in our own small way but the potential does not lie in how cool or sophisticated our improvisations are, or what school we went to, or who we know, or ultimately even how well we do or do not play. Our personal potential, and thus our musical potential lies in how willing we are to discover who we are and what our voice is...we don’t do this through trying to understand others and their relationships...we do this by striving to understand ourselves and our relationship to others, and for me this applies to the process of learning music as well. I think it is best to explore and serve the environment that we arise from while also peripherally maintaining an awareness of the infinite possibilities that are always available within this family of humanity. Today I hope for the continued opportunity to strive through the instrument of music. If I can even scratch the surface and eventually share something that I can at least be temporarily satisfied with, that will be enough.”

In his critically acclaimed and aptly named first CD Nondirectional Roch has shown himself to be a formidable force both as a guitarist and writer penning five of the seven tracks. Roch chose the other two tracks “Quintennaisance” and “Hutch” to pay homage to Art Lande and Eddie Marshall, who Roch cites as personal musical influences. Nondirectional features an outstanding cast of musicians including sattva/coronet great Ron Miles, as well as piano legend Art Lande.

Roch Lockyer joined the JazzTimes community on Mar 31, 2009