One of the most original jazz guitarists to emerge during the past 15 years, Kurt Rosenwinkel continues to grow in fame and influence. Born in Philadelphia in 1970, he attended Berklee for two and a half years before dropping out to go on tour with vibraphonist Gary Burton (the school’s dean) in 1990. The exposure and Burton’s assistance jump started Rosenwinkel’s career and he became a busy session musician who was constantly heard in jazz settings in New York. He was influenced to a degree by Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Lennie Tristano but had his own sound from the start, sometimes utilizing alternate fingerings that allow him to play ideas rarely explored by other jazz guitarists. He also sings along with his solos, seeing his voice as an extension of his guitar rather than a separate entry.
Rosenwinkel moved to Brooklyn in the 1990s and worked with Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band (1992-94), Joe Henderson, the Brian Blade Fellowship, the Human Feel and other groups, appearing on albums with Burton, Motian, Brad Mehldau, Mark Turner, Seamus Blake, Larry Goldings, Chris Cheek, Chris Potter, Tim Hagans, Danilo Perez and Joshua Redman. He recorded his debut as a leader (East Coast Love Affair) for Fresh Sound/New Talent in 1996, two years later made Intuit for Criss Cross and in 1990 recorded his first of several CDs for Verve. Kurt Rosenwinkel moved to Geneva, Switzerland in 2003 and currently lives in Berlin, teaching at Jazz Institute Berlin but he visits the United States often.