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RealTracks Artist Bio: John Jorgenson

John Jorgenson is a legendary American guitar player who is also proficient on the mandolin, mandocello, Dobro, pedal steel, piano, upright bass, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone.

John was playing both the piano and the clarinet by age 8. He got his first guitar at age 12 and learned to play it while continuing to study Classical music on woodwinds. By age 14, John was playing guitar in a Rock 'n' Roll band and developing the virtuosity and versatility that would distinguish his professional career. He achieved national recognition with The Desert Rose Band, which he co-founded with Chris Hillman of the Byrds. The band had five #1 singles and Jorgenson won the Academy of Country Music's "Guitarist of the Year" award for three consecutive years while playing with Desert Rose.

Following The Desert Rose Band, John formed The Hellecasters with Will Ray and Jerry Donahue. This award-winning trio of guitar virtuosos produced three hit CDs and a live video, winning both "Album of the Year" and "Country Album of the Year" from the readers of Guitar Player Magazine for "Return of the Hellecasters," released in 1993.

In 1994 Elton John called and invited John on an 18-month world tour that stretched into six years. Jorgenson has also recorded or toured with artists including The Byrds, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams Jr., Barbra Streisand, Luciano Pavarotti, Roy Orbison, Patty Loveless, Sting, Billy Joel, Michael Nesmith, and Bonnie Raitt.

For all of his accomplishments in the Pop, Country, and Rock worlds, Gypsy Jazz is the style of music closest to John Jorgenson's heart. He is known as one of the pioneers of the American Gypsy Jazz movement and has performed as a solo artist as well as collaborated with other musicians all over the world. Because of his international reputation as a Gypsy Jazz player, John was twice asked to recreate Django Reinhardt's music for feature films, "Gattica" and "Head in The Clouds." The latter, starring Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz, features John on camera in the role of Django Reinhardt.

John Jorgenson continues to perform, record, and teach Gypsy Jazz music, with a series of Gypsy Jazz recordings dating back to 1988 that feature his artistry on both the guitar and the clarinet. He has also published a series of Gypsy Jazz Guitar instructional DVDs complete with book, DVD, and a play-along CD.

Currently living in Nashville, John tours worldwide playing Gypsy Jazz with The John Jorgenson Quintet and continues to collaborate with other artists live and in the studio. His web site is

John Jorgenson plays these RealTracks:

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