Sunday, 23 March 2014

Leonardo Guzman: why you need to listen to his new album Now!

Leonardo Guzman: NAMM 2014
Leonardo Guzman: Guitarist from Bogota, currently a session guitarist, arranger and music teacher. He finished his professional music studies at El Bosque University in Bogota.

He’s a Colombian guitarist with a great scope and promise, known for his entries for several international online contests on places like YouTube. on which he’s always been in the top five, and many times the winner. Due to this he has been reviewed and praised by many great guitarists like Jason Becker, Rob Chapman, Danielle Gottardo, Guthrie Govan, Martin Taylor among others.

Leonardo Guzman: the competition winning series

His performances and style may fall in the fusion and shred categories, however, it is possible to hear a plethora of techniques in his playing, also featuring very jazzy melodic and harmonic elements, all of the above used in a tremendously creative manner, it’s important to make note also that every musical resource and every technical tool he uses are dependent on his expressive needs.

Artist website: Guitarist, arranger, composer, session musician
jellybeard is exclusively managing Leonardo. For all information, contact the management at
@NAMM 2014 - Tom Quayle & Leonardo Guzman Jam

1st original form "NOW!" my debut EP Mixed and Mastered by the great Alex Argento. Thanks a lot for watching! Much love from Colombia!

Buy Leonardo Guzman's "NOW!":

Don't Forget to be Awesome and like this:

Leonardo Guzman: Now!
1 - Retina
2 - Cookieland
3 - Jumping Frenchman of Maine
4 - Hot Tramp
5 - Por El Alto Del Buey

Mini Review

This is an EP with 5 tracks put together in top professional style by Leonardo Guzman. Sensibly Leo has not risked the home studio digital drummer and  brought in a pro drummer for this release, adding depth and their own unique flair. In the drum seat is seasoned jazz fusion drummer Sebastiaan Cornelissen (of Richard Hallebeek/Marc Guillermont fame). Sebastiaan allows the drums to give enough space for the music to breathe, enabling Leonardo  room to deliver his muscular, organic and exotic solos.

The production duties are superbly handled by the super keyboard player Alex Argento, so I expect nothing but the best and you get it on this release.

Retina is probably my favourite track on the album being an amalgamation of the latest modern tones to be found in progressive rock fusion.  The keys add dynamics and support, I guess if you are looking for a handle, then mix Marco Sfogli with Kiko Loureiro in a blender and add a twist of Alex Argento style Ego and you have a winner.

Cookieland is, perhaps, more laid back, played with a Latin groove and panache often missing from straight rock players. Leo is inventive, original  and provides some great solo work, that never dives down into bombastic shred, leaving the album with a classy feel. The clean guitar solo work has a jazzy feel and there is a  great deal and precision to his playing. Leo adds lots of personality and fun with a rap/scat style break down too.

Jumping Frenchman of Maine continues in the same vane as Cookieland. Touches of humour, mixed with pretty finger confusing licks played as high speed, but with class and aplomb. All topped off  with Latin cool and  sultry rhythm.

Hot tramp is more of a rocker, more in the vein of Retina, some pretty impressive picking and some acoustic finger picking too.  Drums are great too, Latin swing and is that reggae in the mix too? The trick also features killer soloing, in Leo's trade mark style, mixing it up both harmonically, melodically and rhythmically .

Por El Alto del Buey... is a little vignette, a sweet etude in a Latin style, wrapping up a very  entertaining EP.

Overall, I like the original quality of the release.  If you are looking for music that is more adventurous than straight ahead rock or metal, then you have come to the right place. Judging by the quality of the music in this release, I look forward to a full album some time soon.

What the pros are saying about the release
“Wow, Leonardo is extremely musical and creative! I love the innovative use of the slide on his right pinky, this is a very exciting and explosive solo…”
Jason Becker

“Wonderous, musical, magical…”
Rob Chappers

“Dude your solo puts the biggest smile on my face – I am in such awe of your skills. Amazing work, and I can’t wait to hear more of your playing!”
Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry)

“This guy just killed it in terms of phrasing, feel and technical approach”
Jeff Loomis

“Shred chef (say that 10 times rapidly) Leonardo serves up a piping hot, gourmet licks dish featuring a dazzling display of speed, taste and virtuosity. His original, tapping phrases and employment of his signature, slide thimble, combine for a truly jaw-dropping performance!…”
Mark Varney - Legato Records

“Some remarkable face melting multi-finger tapping, all done tastefully and musically…”
Dave Celentano

“Leonardo absolutely played the hell out of this one, insane solo technique and a beautiful outtro to top it off…”
Sean Carpenter

“Wow, nice ideas and creativity, great tapping ideas and sense of harmony over the chord progression…”
Daniele Gottardo

Making the Album

We asked Leonardo to talk to us about how the album came about, how the recording process worked and how he thought about promoting his album.

How long did it take you to record the album?
The whole process of recording and mixing was about 3 months. There were some breaks in between but it was just 2 or 3 days between each instrument.!!

How did you know when you had finished the album?
Well, I'm quite hard on myself, like every musician I am never satisfied 100%, but it was a step I had to make. All with the help and encouragement, and the hand of my good friend and Manager Kris Claerhout from Jellybeard records. We picked out the tunes we liked the most from some scratch tracks that I had made.  Kris suggested that I change some small things here and there, and then during the whole process of recording, every song started to take an slightly different direction. We had planned to take the EP to the NAMM show 2014, so we had a Deadline already, long story short: we are pretty content and happy with the result we accomplished.

How do you know when a track is finished?
I always have in my head all the tracks and layers I would like to put on a certain composition, then when all that is done, I listen to it over and over, if I feel it needs another track or more detail, I do that, if I feel it is over killing it, I take some tracks out, but always listening in my head. When it comes to recording I like to have more tracks than I need and then I can take out one out if it feels something is missing.  If there is a mistake I tend to do that also, but sometimes I leave too much stuff going on :P

How do you decide what is going into a track and how do you name it?
I tend to start with a little idea, could be a melody, could be some chords or even some drum groove, then I start to imagine how I could develop it into a song and I try to make it real by writing parts for every instrument. Its funny, and call me crazy, I tend to think in Colours, when it comes to name a song, don't know why, then I try to find out a word or a name that suits not only the whole idea of the song, but also the colour I see in my head. (I know you're thinking WEIRD!). But some times I just put a random name on the file, when am working on it and sometimes it turns out to be the actual name, like "Cookieland". I was actually eating cookies when I put that name on it, not too smart, but I like it :).

What equipment did you use in the studio
I mostly used my Suhr Modern for almost all the tracks!, also used a MusicMan Petrucci Signature for some cleans, an Ibanez 7th strings for some heavy parts, Ibanez Archtop for some jazzy bits. For amps we used an Orange 4x12 Cabinet, and a Orange TH30 and a Tinny Terror #4. Mics was a Cascade Ribbon and a SM57. Pedals, we used and Exotic EP Booster, a Fulltone OCD, TC electronics Flashback x4, and that's as far as I can remember :P.

It was some sort of a home/pro studio in a different city from where I live in Colombia, called Medellin. I had to stay there for almost 2 weeks during the recording.

How did you record the drums for the album?
The drums were recorded by the amazing Sebastiaan Cornelissen on one of his studios, I think it was in Germany! he really learned the songs in a couple of days and did a terrific job. He certainly put a lot of his own flavor into it.

Do you approach an album as though it is you meister work?
I try to do my best with every song. But I would not call this EP my 'Meister Work', it's more like a compilation of some tunes I have and I wanted to display some of what I like and know how to do, its more like a presentation card if you will. But it certainly helped me to start making things happen, so i'm super pumped ready to start writing the next one, that will probably be my Meister Work, for now!

When the album is done how do you feel about it?
Am totally proud, not 100% satisfied, like I said, am very hard on myself, am always pushing the envelope. But the main thing its, that am proud because I did the best I could, with the given time and tools.

Did you have a budget for the album?
Well it was kinda split between me and jellybeard, but Kris did help me BIG TIME! He took care of the drums, drum recording, mixing & mastering, printing, and even some part of the design. I've took care of the bass, guitars and Art.

Next time I would like to be present during the Drums recordings, as I felt that I did lose a little bit of control over the imagining of the songs,  the drums gave it a different feel, so maybe I think will be present but at the same time I like to give freedom to the players.

How did you go about your promotion strategy?
We are working on it and thanks to jellybeard who took care of all the internet distribution thing, I have more time to concentrate on some plans that we have to promoting it, like some play through videos and things you'll see in the near future! I did not think about the Kick Starter fundraising  route this time, but it could be a possibility for the next one!

How did you decide what the album title and design would be?
Well I have this whole idea what it will be at the BEGINNING, so what is happening on the art its actually a birth, a twisted one, so its not really related to the actual music, its related to what it represents for me. And the title "NOW!" its also related to it, like its the time to make things happen, it was Kris idea! :)

What were your musical influences on this album? 
Hiromi Uehara, I really enjoy whatever she does, it impacts me more from the melodic side.

Joel Hoekstra, I can listen to his albums all day long! I like how he plays with the forms of the songs.

Puya, my all time favorite band, I've always liked the blend between Latin music and heavy rock/metal.

Important links

A sample track from the debut album by Leonardo Guzman. Great production throughout by Alex Argento.

Leonardo Guzman - Now - Jumping Frenchman Of Maine
Track # 3 of the EP, order at

Mixed & Mastered by Alex Argento

PJ d'Atri: J S Bach - BWV 947 - you want Bach... we got it!

A first glimpse at my magnum opus, the JS Bach Album
which is due this autumn....hopefully! :D

The album will cover about 25 to 30 pieces of Bach's entire fundus.
Stay tuned and enjoy this 4 piece fugue! Yours, PJ

J. S. Bach - BWV 947 by PJ d'Atri

Marc Playle: Boldon, Tyne & Wear - Stolen Gear!! PLEASE HELP!!

Marc Playle
Stolen Gear!! Please help and share!!

There was a break in last night near Boldon, Tyne & Wear, and a priceless guitar was stolen along with other gear. The guitar was a 21th birthday present and has a lot of sentimental value!

The guitar is a one off Custom Built "Les Tones" Ibanez Jem. Silver Body with a Mirror Scratchplate, All DiMarzio pick-ups, Floyd Rose Trem.

Other Gear That was stolen was a G-Lab GSC-3 (Guitar System Controller), Ernie Ball Volume Pedal (VP Jr 250K) and Cry Baby Wah pedal (cry baby 535q).

Please Share to help spread the word and to help find and return them.

Any info please message me or contact South Tyneside Police

Andy James: Official - t-shirts available

Andy James

Here it is, the **Official** Andy James Guitar Academy merch store! Let us know what products you would like to see and we will add them when there are enough requests!

In the meantime we are preparing for the public launch of the Academy -

Nico Schliemann: The Trio live 2014

Nico Schliemann - Guitar
Alvin Mills - Drums
Benni Jud - Bass

Sorry for the distorted audio, but the zoom q3hd was unfortunately set to high intend of low while recording, but you'll get the idea.

Nico Schliemann: The Trio live 2014

Paul Gilbert: guitar clinic tour of Brazil happens this April
Paul Gilbert's guitar clinic tour of Brazil happens this April. Check out the dates and info!

  • 1º Guitar Meeting - Fortaleza -- CE 14/04  (55) 85.8899-4810
  • 2º Instituto Pracatum -- Salvador -- BA 15/04 (55) 71.3276-4255
  • 3º Studio Musical -- João Pessoa -- PB 16/04  (55) 83.3222-4189
  • 4º Guitar Day -- Recife -- PE 17/04 (55) 81.9911-7356
  • 5º EMRB -- Florianópolis -- SC 22/04 (55) 48.3025-3868
  • 6º Embusiness -- Belo Horizonte -- MG 23/04 (55) 31.3063-7535
  • 7º Escola de Música Verbo Vivo - Guarulhos -- SP 24/04 (55) 11.2479-3203
  • 8º GTR - Brasilia -- DF 25/04 (55) 61.3245-7140
  • 9º EM& T São Paulo -- SP 26/04 (55) 11.5012-2777
  • 10º Instituto Airton Mann - Curitiba - PR 27/04 (55) 41.3027-8179
  • 11º Mil Sons - Porto Alegre -- RS 28/04 (55) 51.3026-3602
  • 12º Music House & Tanaka Guitar Tech -- Sorocaba -- SP 29/04 (55) 15.3232-4445
  • 13º Escola de Música Luciano Alf - Campo Grande -- RJ 01/05 (55) 21.2412-0461
  • 14º SNS Produções -- Volta Redonda -- RJ 02/05 (55) 24.7811-5490
  • 15º Instituto Musical Trilha Sonora -- Cachoeira Paulista -- SP 03/05 (55) 12.3103-3312

Paul Gilbert Brazilian Tour 2014

Darren Housholder: Freedom Studio 3 years ago Filmed by Thomas LeBlanc series

Darren Housholder: Freedom Studio 3 years ago - including Andy Haller solo - Live performance Dual Harmonized guitar. Filmed by Thomas LeBlanc of Freedom Studio

Darren Housholder: Freedom Studio 3 years ago Filmed by Thomas LeBlanc of Freedom Studio

Miky Bianco: Grey Fly In A Green Dream

FLY IN A GREY GREEN DREAM, a song inspired by and dedicated to Joe Satriani, or one of the guitarists that have most contributed to my musical education ....
video clip of one of the songs that will be part of my next album: ONE - "Much Ado Nothing "

MIKY BIANCO - GREY FLY IN A GREEN DREAM - (Dedicated to Joe Satriani) - MARSHALL JVM 410

Richie Kotzen: Faith So Cold CD Release Party Paladino's - 2011

Shot, mixed, mastered, and edited by Thomas LeBlanc Roving camera by oneratfink, You Tube user!

Richie Kotzen Faith So Cold CD Release Party Paladino's

Shot by Thomas LeBlanc Richie Kotzen's CD release party for his new album "24 Hours." The venue has changed! Richie and his band live October 23, 2011 at Paladino's in Tarzana, CA. for more details...

Richie Kotzen CD Release Party

Richie Kotzen So Cold Arlan Oscar

Thomas Lang: Beat It Poland - StOrk - "Chainsaw Serenade" and "Bat" - brilliant drum performances

Thanks to for the heads up on these videos.

October 8, 2013, the Thomas Lang led the drum clinic in Poznan store Music Store. During the show performed the song "Chainsaw Serenade" Stork team, where he is a drummer. Here it is. Enjoy your pick!

Thomas Lang, StOrk - "Chainsaw Serenade"

Thomas Lang & stOrk -"Bat"

Tom Quayle: Guitar Retreat Spain this July - it could be you

Guitar Retreat
Picture yourself waking up in the countryside, morning sunshine and blue sky. Breakfast before getting straight on your guitar and playing with the awesome Tom Quayle before lunch. Afternoon trip to see some of the amazing Andalucía sights before heading back for a dip in the pool and a cold beer or wine and a quick jam whilst the BBQ flashes into life. Imagine this every day for a week! Totally all inclusive with nothing to worry about except putting on your sun cream and relaxing. Join us 20th July

Jakub Żytecki: Ernie Ball / Music Man NAMM 2014

Phenomenal guitar player and composer Żytecki. Jakub is supported by Ernie Ball / Music Man Company. He uses Music Man 7-String John Petrucci Signature Model, Ernie Ball custom sets strings and Randall amplifiers.  Find out more about this talent:

Disperse were founded in the Polish city of Przeworsk in December 2007 by guitarist Jakub Żytecki, vocalist / keyboarder Rafał Biernacki and Marcin Kicyk on bass.
Disperse Facebook:

Jakub Żytecki: Ernie Ball / Music Man NAMM 2014

Paul Wardingham: Official 'Assimilate Regenerate' album backings, tabs and video performances and Special Edition album

Official 'Assimilate Regenerate' album backings, tabs & video performances.

If you don't have the 'Assimilate Regenerate' album already, you can grab the 'Special Edition' package which includes the full album download as well as the 'Song Box Set'
*NEW* Paul Wardingham ENTER THE METAVERSE at Jamtrackcentral com