Santa Cruz Guitar Lessons

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Popular Guitar Teachers Near Santa Cruz

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Santa Cruz including Felton, Davenport, Brookdale, Ben Lomond and Mount Hermon.

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Guitar Lessons in Santa Cruz

There are some fun things you can do to enhance your guitar lessons in Santa Cruz. Attending large venue concerts with world-famous artists, frequenting restaurants, coffee shops and bars with local live music, and even attending student concerts and other educational events are all exciting ways to spend the day while also improving your guitar skills. Here are some great places around Santa Cruz to check out:

  1. The Art Bar and Cafe The Art Bar and Cafe provides an artsy and family-friendly atmosphere for art, food, drinks, coffee and live music. They even provide free Wi-Fi! Check their website for a list of upcoming artists. Customers describe the list of performers as "eclectic," so you'll have lots of different types of music to choose from. (http://scartbar.com/)

  2. Kuumbwa Jazz Center If the focus of your guitar lessons in Santa Cruz is jazz, then you'll need to check out the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. Their doors opened 40 years ago, and they have a great reputation for bringing fantastically creative and engaging acts to Santa Cruz. In addition to frequent concerts, Kuumbwa also provides the public with FREE master classes. Check their website for details about master classes, performances, and to book tickets. (http://kuumbwajazz.org/)

  3. The Crow's Nest Restaurant Located on a picturesque cliff, this restaurant provides great food, drinks and live entertainment with the backdrop of the ocean. The Crow's Nest website has a monthly calendar of events, and the musicians they host include reggae, rock, progressive funk, soul and more. So no matter what genre you're into, or even if you're still deciding, The Crow's Nest has something for you. (http://www.crowsnest-santacruz.com/live-entertainment/)

  4. Moe's Alley Moe's Alley is known for hosting both local and world-renowned musical acts. The atmosphere of this bar is described as pleasant and "laid back," and many customers love the small and intimate setting as well as the fantastic acoustics. There's also a dance floor and Vivas Organic Mexican Food served on the patio during all shows. (http://www.moesalley.com/)

  5. Santa Cruz Blues Festival The Santa Cruz Blues Festival has been happening every Memorial Day Weekend for the past 23 years at Aptos Village Park. The festival is family friendly, and it's located in a beautiful Redwood amphitheater, known for it's premiere sound. The festival prides itself on bringing well-known blues traditionalists as well as modern artists. Musicians who have graced the stage in the past include Tommy Castro, Jonny Lang, Joan Osborne and Trombone Shorty, just to name a few. (http://www.santacruzbluesfestival.com/info.php)

  6. Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Attending the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music is another great way to enhance your guitar lessons in Santa Cruz. This festival brings fantastic musicians from all around the world to perform in Santa Cruz in August. Expand your musical education by exposing yourself to a wide variety of contemporary music performers. There are also events designed to educate you about contemporary music and even open rehearsals to attend! (http://cabrillomusic.org/)

  7. UC Santa Cruz You don't need to be an enrolled student to take advantage of some of the events the UCSC music department offers. Between the Classical Guitar Ensemble, Small and Large Jazz Ensembles, the Latin Ensemble and individual student recitals, there are frequent on-campus concerts that are open to the public. (http://music.ucsc.edu/)
217042_328294_33898

Adam S.

Felton, CA

Beginner to Advances.
All styles will be taught according to student's inclinations.
Jazz, Blues, Funk, Rock, Heavy Metal, Fingerstyle.
Classical I teach as a different course.

About Adam

I'm a Berklee graduate with a degree in music. I have over 15 years experience playing composing and performing. I will teach you guitar, piano or bass in any given style. I'm great with music theory and ear training, and will work to make you a better musician. I perform regularly around Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.

*** Lesson Details ***
I'm a firm believer in learning music through songs, and it's the student's favorite music that will keep the student motivated. I do my best to communicate my passion about music to the student. My lessons consist of ear training, sight-reading, and m
usic theory.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Teaching studio w/ guitar, piano, bass and amplifiers.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I have my own guitar, bass and amplifier if needed.

*** Specialties ***
*Teachers marked as a Student
Favorite have taught a minimum of 25 lessons and have received the highest
feedback rating from students.Fingerstyle Acoustic guitar
Classical Guitar
Electric Jazz and Funk Guitar
Rock.  Recording.
...

Reviews

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Scott L. February 15, 2013
Classical Guitar
Verified Student
Up for the challenge...

I am a professional musician, playing several different instruments and singing most of my life. I never picked up the guitar until a year ago. I'm not the traditional student who wants to learn rock 'n' roll, but am instead a lover of classical music. From day one, Adam worked with me to find out my skill level and taste in music. He challenged me to learn amazing pieces, played in finger style #I highly recommend#, and even taught me a few songs from the rock genre. Adam has a cool demeanor and makes learning guitar interesting and fun. What I learned from Adam in just a short time amazes me, and I know he can teach even the most challenging student.
Silhouette-80
CarlosS June 25, 2012
Adam is charismatic, enthusiastic, super educated, and dedicated to teaching! He's a great professor overall and is always looking to find better ways to fit your learning style. I've had dozens of music instructors throughout my life and Adam is definitely one of the best!
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GabeP May 9, 2012
Absolutely Great!

Adam is an outstanding guitar instructor and makes learning lots of fun! He has a unique way of breaking down lessons to make playing enjoyable while understanding the fundamental concepts of musicianship. He rocks! (pun intended) :-)
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Adam S.

Adam S.

Felton, CA 95018
(5)
starting at
$39 / 30-min
211137_259651_25989

Travis C.

Watsonville, CA

About Travis

Travis grew up in a musical family in Santa Cruz, CA. His father was a professional guitarist and his grandfather was the head of the music program at Cabrillo College in Aptos, so naturally he grew up with an instrument in his hand. After years of toying with the guitar Travis began formal lesson at the age of 9, quickly developing into an exceptional musician. By the age of 13 Travis was in several rock bands and performing frequently. Once in high school, Travis had no doubt that being a professional musician was what we wanted to do with his life so he started studying jazz and classic
al piano at a college level, studying with jazz trumpeter/arranger Ray Brown and classically trained pianist Ivan Rosenblum. Travis excelled and quickly began playing in the top Jazz Combo at Cabrillo College and in the top Big Band as well as playing professionally. In 2013 Travis received his BA in Music for Film from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and currently resides in Santa Cruz scoring commercials, television and film as well as producing albums and working on his own projects.
Ever since Travis was 14 he has had an extreme passion to teach and pass on his musical knowledge. He started out teaching his friends and peers in high school for little or no money where he learned how to teach and gained valuable teaching experience. Eventually, he began teaching as a profession in the Santa Cruz area where he continued to hone the art of teaching.

*** Lesson Details ***
Travis has been teaching for over 8 years and has acquired extensive knowledge on the most efficient and fun teaching methods. Travis' goal for each student is for them to have fun while learning the instrument, and to pass on his passion for the instrument. Curriculum is different for each student, as not all students learn in the same way or want to learn the same thing. Travis teaches most genres including: all areas of rock, jazz, blues, funk, metal and more. He will cover topics including technique, soloing, chords, theory, sight-reading, developing your ear as well as learning about the guitar and how to take care of it. He is a patient teacher and devotes himself to each student.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect my students to have a guitar and if they are playing an electric, they need an amp at home.

*** Specialties ***
I excel at rock, jazz and blues guitar and have in depth knowledge of jazz theory and harmony.
...

Reviews

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MaryaC April 26, 2012
My son is really enjoying his lessons. Travis is a great teacher: patient, fun and very kind.
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SaciM December 5, 2011
Travis

He was super. Patient, and a good teacher, all 4 of us liked him.
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AmyS2 June 25, 2011
Parent

Travis is amazing. He's been teaching my son for about 8 weeks and he's well exceeded my expectations. Travis is very patient and an excellent teacher. He keeps the class pace moving from music theory to playing songs and somehow manages to keep my rambunctious 10 year old fully engaged for an hour""no easy task. I highly recommend him!
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Travis C.

Travis C.

Watsonville, CA 95076
(4)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
Profile_149395_299228_32559

Michael L.

Los Gatos, CA

I have been teaching guitar for the past 6 years. I teach all aspects and styles of the guitar, with an emphasis on fundamentals and musicality. I use materials from the Royal Conservatory as well as technical studies to facilitate control and ease of playing. I have a background in jazz and classical but can also teach rock, blues and popular music.

About Michael

I am formerly a resident of Seattle who recently moved down to the Bay Area. I now attend San Jose State for Music Ed. I studied music at the University of Washington and my fortes include jazz, blues, classical, pop, punk, metal, theory, songwriting, ear training and generally learning to speak on your instrument. I work with all levels of ability and commitment. Realize your passion and start playing music today!

I tend to be laid back and relaxed but focused in my lessons. I will use a combination of method books and worksheets of my own construction. I also utilize recording equ
ipment so the student can hear what he or she sounds like. The focus of these lessons can be tailored to the student- s/he can learn to read or simply jam on his or her favorite songs.

*** Specialties ***
Jazz, classical, rock, blues, theory, ear training
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
HeidiM March 15, 2012
Great teacher! My daughter loves him. Very patient, positive, and encouraging.
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SueC February 29, 2012
mrs

learning an instrument is fun! My 10 year old son is really enjoying playing guitar with Michael. He is learning some serious stuff mixed with playing chords from his favourite bands. My 8 year old daughter has also started piano with him and she has really progressed in her playing in only 6 weeks or so. Michael is very patient and great with them and they really look forward to him coming every week. I would recommend him highly
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Michael L.

Michael L.

Los Gatos, CA 95032
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
201524_204597_1263591460

Hristo V.

San Jose, CA

I design my lessons with the specific student goals in mind.

For Beginner students: we will start by exploring rhythm concepts and understanding how to read music. Learning the physics of the guitar and exploring the notes in the first few positions. Learning open position chords, and simple chords progressions, major and pentatonic scales,etc.

For Intermediate students: we will continue expanding our knowledge of the higher positions of the guitar, as well as develop better sight-reading skills. Bar cords and chord transposition, and music theory. Expanding our scalar vocabulary to modes, and minor scales. Learning arpeggios and classical etudes.

For Advance students: Close interval voicings, jazz improvisation, chord to scale relationships, and harmonic substitutions are some of the concepts we will cover. Learning solo guitar playing (chord melody), incorporating walking bass lines, transcription skill and arranging skills.

I specialize in Jazz guitar, improvisation,

About Hristo

Hristo is an impressionistic modern jazz guitarist and composer from Sofia, Bulgaria. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hristo leads a variety of modern jazz formations, ranging from duets to quintets. Hristo has toured nationally and internationally, appearing at some of the most prestigious jazz clubs and festivals, and has also performed guitar clinics in Europe and Japan. He has written more than 270 original compositions, many articles on jazz improvisation, and a book on chordal theory and construction entitled Between the Voicings: A New Approach to Chord Building for Guitaris
ts. The Hristo Quartet’s 2009 debut album, Song for Messambria (First Orbit Sounds Music) quickly received outstanding reviews by the international jazz community and was selected as one of the six best jazz albums of 2009 by E-JAZZ NEWS.
“His sophisticated and adventurous work is imbued with shimmering harmonies and lyrical improvisations.” – JAZZTIMES MAGAZINE
“His multihued compositions are like impressionistic sound paintings.” – JAZZIZ
“You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers.” – Improvijazzation Nation Magazine
“Hristo may be one of the best kept secrets in jazz today. He is the epitome of sonic gold.” – DIGITAL JAZZ NEWS
“Hristo plays as the cultural end result of his life experiences. Simply put, he plays more so from the heart than he does the head.” – Critical Jazz
“A richly textured album full of strong melodic and rhythmic ideas and with some superb playing throughout.” – THE JAZZ MANN (England)
As jazz critic Edward Blanco describes: “Heis the newest guitarist to enter the national jazz scene and does so with a stunner of a recording in Song for Messambria, one of the finest debut albums I've had the pleasure of appraising this year.”
The record presents a unique blend of ECM-style modern jazz, classical, and Brazilian tone textures, and showcases the completely unique and masterful interpretation of the jazz idiom by each one of its members. In late 2009, Hristo released his second studio album featuring Latin Grammy-nominated pianist Weber Iago. The Secrets of an Angel is an impressionistic landscape painted by the delightful and graceful conversation between the two instruments (guitar/piano).
As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “On the heels of his impressive debut recording, Song for Messambria, guitarist Hristo returns along with pianist Weber Iago for a wonderful guitar/piano duet recording - The Secrets of an Angel...while the gentle title track shimmers like a glistening iceberg on a cold sea. The delightful two-part ‘The Last Pirate” is a highlight - brilliantly showcasing the exciting romantic bend inherent in his music, while the nostalgic lullaby “Leka Nosht (Good Night)” recalls a faraway youth and rounds out this fine release.”
In 2010 Hristo wrote a large scale jazz work (The Perperikon Suite) especially to be premiered at the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival. This 7 movements jazz suite is inspired by the ancient Thracian city of Perperikon (located on the territory of Bulgaria), and combines orchestral, classical, jazz, and fusion elements depicting the history and mystery of this enchanting place. The work marks Hristo third album and one of his most adventurous and sophisticated works up to date. For the recording of this project the Hristo Quartet was joined by virtuoso vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist Christian Tamburr.
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Shimmering harmonies resonate throughout these modern jazz marvels, and the soloists work their way around and through this accessible and exciting music with equal measures of taste, technique and spirit. His pieces are peppered with signpost sonorities and ideas that often reappear throughout a given song, creating a sense of continuity and thematic steadiness that develops around individual soloists. While this group ably establishes its own aural identity, which threads its way through the whole album, each movement of the suite has different strengths and a unique sonic footprint. Brought to life as a tale of two cities, The Perperikon Suite ultimately occupies its own wondrous world within the confines of its jazz borders.”
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “There is an incredible warmth to his playing, a fluidity of movement and direction held firmly in place by a stellar quintet that provides ample support for the lyrical imagery created on this release. Aside from the superior sound which almost smacks of a live in the studio recording, there is a true working band feel that he has been able to obtain. He displays an unparalleled versatility moving from the flash of “The Acropolis” to the more introspective “The Southern City” allowing for a wonderfully paced recording. The drumming of Joe DeRose creates a special dynamic tension on the tune “The Great Hall.” A release that ends far too soon. Wonderfully crafted, well paced and a sonic tapestry that stands up as well as any release for this past year.”
As jazz critic Bruce Lindsay describes: “The music, performed by a terrific quintet, is beautiful: it captures images not of a city in ruins but of a city full of life, of vibrant activity. The Perperikon Suite is an impressive creation. Each individual tune is beautifully crafted, but so, too, is the Suite as a whole. His response to the ancient city is remarkable in both its conception and its performance.”
As jazz critic Michael Bailey describes: “Many time motifs are used throughout this suite. Tick-tock ascending and descending figures pass as a thread through cloth, to hold this musical garment—a coat of many colors—together. He achieves this effect with no apparent effort or change in guitar tone or approach. Merely by affecting the time signatures, he makes his magic. The Perperikon Suite is soft-spoken and brainy music that exists out of the ordinary.”

As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “The new songs are the strongest he has written yet, and the addition of Tamburr serves to take the music to an even higher level. Hristo, meanwhile, continues to impress the listener with his addictive blend of jazz with touches of classical, Brazilian and Eastern European influences in both his playing and songwriting. In lieu of visiting the legendary site yourself, listeners are urged to take a musical journey to the ancient location as seen through the senses of Hristo and shared with you through his highly satisfying musical presentation.”
As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: “Hristo and his inspirational quintet provide an all-new experience on The Perperikon Suite, a concept album that is accessible, creative and a pleasure to spin often.”
In 2012 Hristo embarked on yet another musical chapter of his life. Heartmony is the long awaited and highly anticipated follow up to the first duet recording by the guitarist and pianist Weber Iago (The Secrets of an Angel). As the title of the record will suggest, Heartmony explores a truly intimate, honest, and emotional conversation between the two instruments. The music, which transports you from impressionistic landscapes to folkloric tales and from melancholic memories to meditative trances, is simply the purest harmonious sounds he has put on tape up to date. Straight from the heart, healing energy that will embrace you long after you listen to it.
“An absolutely wonderful recording.” – JAZZTIMES
“If ever there were a marriage between classical music and jazz then this Heartmony is it. Hristo and Weber Iago have created a very special experience.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“Both on and off the bandstand, he is an artist who wears his emotions on his sleeve. His new “Heartmony,” a duo session with his frequent collaborator, Brazilian pianist Weber Iago, provides a master class in the way a chord or harmonic progression can evoke a flood of sensations.” – Andrew Gilbert (San Jose Mercury News)
“Guitarist Hristo and longtime collaborator, pianist Weber Iago, have created a work of sublime musicality with Heartmony. Exquisitely lyrical, although a bit too sweet, this opus brings together multiple musical influences into a coherent and cohesive, multilayered narrative, the momentum of which does not slack from the first few notes to the very last. He and Iago interweave long musical threads into a shimmering soundscape of serene beauty.” – Hrayr Attarian (All About Jazz)
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “Heartmony is a sonic mosaic pieced together from heartfelt feelings and emotions carried through time and communicated in an incredibly heartwarming and emotional presentation that exemplifies the zen concept of less is more perhaps as well as any recording of the last decade. The musical sound of one hand clapping. His and Weber's music transcends the more traditional jazz idiom in much the same fashion that their recorded work here is that of a more cohesive unified voice with subtle shadings, lyrical swells and the textured nuances that creates music that is to be experienced. An incredibly beautiful artistic statement of personal experience.”
“Guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago sounds like a perfect match in a musical heaven, if such things exist. What I’m saying here is that this is a duet album that sounds perfect, music made from the heart and soul. There’s warmth, there’s care, and there’s a human quality to this that no machine can replicate, and it is that Heartmony that makes this a powerful album worth listening to repeatedly.” – John Books
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “The eleven originals are all musical offerings from the heart and soul, but this isn't a one-dimensional recital. Some songs are full of life and positive energy, while others have a sense of regret and nostalgia sewn into their being, but they're all painted in sharp, vivid colors, thanks to the skills of both artistic practitioners at play.”
“This set of guitar-piano duets is quietly emotional, always intriguing and quite original. His clear toned guitar blends in perfectly with Iago’s powerful piano and the two musicians often seem to think as one. Heartmony is quite thought provoking and well worthy of many close listens. Highly recommended.” – Scott Yanow
“Hristo and Iago play together with the assurance born of long and fruitful collaboration. They know each other well, and it shows in the skillful way they complement each other. They take a beautiful melody and run with it. They wring every bit of emotion out of it. There are passages in a composition like “Memories in Black and White,” nocturnal moments in “The Last Leaves which Fell in Fall,” that sound like they could have been written by a nineteenth century Polish Romantic. Then there are moments in the same songs where there are glints of French Impressionists.” – Jack Goodstein (blogcritics.com)
“Hristo is a gifted composer and master guitarist whose stylish approach to the music makes him a hidden wonder of the jazz world. Heartmony is an intelligent musical statement and gentle follow up to his previous works, a relaxing soulful musical experience sure to touch a piece of your heart.” – Ed Blanco (E-JAZZ NEWS)
In January 2013, Hristo released “Familiar Fields” – his 5th record as a leader (and his 2nd quartet recording). The music presented in this session clearly displays the multidimensional tonal evolution of the band and each one of its individual members. The addition of drummer extraordinaire Mike Shannon to the quartet establishes a portal to new sonic landscapes and emotions to be explored in this collection of 9 original pieces by the guitarist. The music, which takes the listener through the realms of impressionistic, classical, jazz, experimental, and new age, always retains the unique sonic footprint that has brought critical acclaim to the quartet all over the world.
“He  paints a vivid pastoral landscape with epic sweep, often recalling the big-sky sound of Pat Metheny. Obviously, these musicians are more than comfortable with one another, as one delicate solo seamlessly segues into another.” – JAZZIZ

“Once again he has produced an immaculately crafted, often supremely beautiful album.” –
The Jazz Mann (England)

“If Pat Metheny and Larry Carlton are considered the kings of impressionistic jazz guitar, then certainly Hristo is a crown prince and ready to lead a palace coup. In fact, “Familiar Fields” easily stands equal to even their greatest albums. Part of the reason for that has to be credited to Hristo’s choice of musicians in the quartet. The musical affinity and effortless grace shines forth on this album like few recordings I have ever heard. They share a single heart and mind that bursts forth in illumination on every track. There is no weak moment or weak player on this album.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)
“Over the past few years, Bulgarian-born, Bay Area-based guitarist and composer Hristo has consistently crafted music of great lyrical beauty. With his self-named quartet or quintet, or in duet with pianist and frequent collaborator Weber Iago, he has advanced a sound that manages to sound intimate and epic at the same time. He does so again on Familiar Fields (First Orbit Sounds), his latest recording with his quartet, which welcomes new member Mike Shannon on drums. As he has on previous recordings, He makes use of classical imagery and narratives in song titles such as “The Prophet’s Daughter,” “The Mask of Agamemnon” and “Wounded by a Poisoned Arrow,” the last of which is our selection. His instrumental voice bears echoes of the tonal warmth and big-sky sweep of Pat Metheny, as he and Iago, his beyond-simpatico musical compatriot, switch off on leads, riding the rolling hillocks of rhythm provided by Shannon and acoustic bassist Dan Robbins. Shannon proves an exceptional addition to the group, responding to and driving his companions in equal measure.” – JAZZIZ
As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “Bulgaria-born and San Francisco-based Hristo has established himself as a modern day troubadour. His enchanting and fantastical tunes have the feel of medieval ballads abundantly peppered with futuristic sounds. His sixth release, Familiar Fields, presents nine impressionistic originals that showcase his maturing compositional skills as well as the superlative, improvisational talents of his working quartet. With each album he oeuvre ripens and becomes more sophisticated without losing its delightfully spirited edge. Familiar Fields not only stands on its own merit as sublime music but also whets the appetite for what is yet to come.”

“Familiar Fields is a highly intelligent, thought-provoking Impressionistic escapade.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

“This release is a clear statement from an artist comfortable with who he is and where he is going. There are no absolute truths in music but instead there are shades of gray which he and his quartet fill in with the precision of a surgeon and the soul of a true artist. Never caught up in the academics of his works, he instead conducts a sonic exploration with the end result being a release that gives up something new with each subsequent spin. An ebb and flow unmatched, or perhaps unlike him, an ebb and flow that other artists simply can not match. As close to perfect as it gets!” – Brent Black (CriticalJazz.com)

“The Hristo Quartet, ladies and gentlemen, is in peak form. They have no competition: no other music in the jazz idiom is quite as satisfying.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“The musical bond between guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago is as strong as that of Chick Corea and Gary Burton, with proof being their two sublime duet recordings, The Secrets of an Angel and Heartmony, as well as three small group sessions under his name. For the Familiar Fields quartet date with regular bassist Dan Robbins and new drummer Mike Shannon, chose nine gems to play from his vault of more than 270 original compositions. As usual, as one listens to his music, the words lyrical, impressionistic, spiritual, and passionate come to mind, and also his term "heartmony," which he defines as the simultaneous combination of feelings and emotions, especially when produced by experiences, memories, and stimulations pleasing to the heart, body, and soul." – Scott Albin (JAZZTIMES)
“The emotional essence of any Hristo recording can be seen before it’s heard via the distinctive oil paintings the guitarist creates for his CD jackets. his artwork for Familiar Fields is impressionistic, haunting and autumnal, the same qualities that characterize his latest collection of tunes. The foursome’s interplay is highly intricate, resulting in emotive tunes that wax and wane in intensity. Whether you call it post-bop or post-fusion, his brand of jazz is passionate and ethereal. He has developed into a formidable guitarist and intelligent composer, and since he’s only 32 years old, his best work may be yet to come.” – Ed Kopp (Jazziz)
“Within his tone and technique, it’s not difficult to hear the influences of Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour. He is adept at the full range of extended techniques but is most often described - justifiably - as an impressionist.” – Karl Ackermann (All About Jazz)
“Of the many attributes that Bulgarian (San Francisco based) guitarist Hristo possesses - refined technical abilities, warm tonality, and expressive soulfulness - his gift to convey beautiful stories through intricate composition is always at the heart of his appeal.” – Mark F. Turner

In October 2013, Hristo released his 6th album as a leader. "Rhodopa" is a beautifully crafted sonic pairing of the extremely emotional and lyrical Bulgarian folklore and the multidimensional and deeply textured world of modern jazz harmony. On his new music journey, the guitarist is joined by virtuoso Bulgarian clarinetist Liubomir Krastev. As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Hristo and Liubomir Krastev cover everything from the mystical to the mournful and the grim to the gleeful on this absorbing duo date.”

“Hristo takes improvisational music to a third dimension of texture you can feel. Rhodopa is my selection for album of the year for 2013. Critically acclaimed guitar virtuoso Hristo started the year with the release of the highly regarded Familiar Fields. With Rhodopa, has now assumed his rightful place as a global virtuoso of unrivaled talent and ability. As artistically gifted as he is technically proficient, Hristo moves to the head of the pack with this stellar outing.” – Brent Black (CriticalJazz.com)

“Hristo boldly departs from the group setting and gives the audience even more of what they crave - soulful arrangements and virtuosity with heart. There is a beauty and an elegance that comes through on each and every one of Hristo's recordings. The music he composes, the arrangements he crafts, the musicians that he assembles together and the dignity and reverence of his musicianship speak of the heart of the man and his love of life.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)

As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “The warm, poetic tunes are like fairy tales in verse. They are imbued with nostalgia, and shimmer with a variety of muted colors and sentiments. Krastev's softly undulating tones waver against his vibrating strings in a spiritual celebration of abstract beauty. This thematically unified work is a genre bending, elegant and satisfying opus and a new high for he who continues to excel himself on each fresh release.”

“Modern jazz guitarist, pianist and composer Hristo always refreshes the ear and the soul with his inordinately sensitive, mesmerizing, and beautiful approach to music. He is unique - and artist who explores every avenue of approach to both folk music and jazz and the result is an experience that simply no one else can match.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)

“With Rhodopa, guitarist/composer Hristo and clarinetist Liubomir Krastev meld musical minds, dive exuberantly into an array of earthy Bulgarian folk material and come up with four hands of beauty. The result is a panoply of aural color, emotion, and technical artistry.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: "Rhodopa is an instrumental serenade of Bulgarian folklore music interpreted by a world-class guitarist and clarinetist. Hristo and Liubomir Krastev deliver an enchanting and relaxing escape from reality with a fifty-three minute encounter of soul-reaching music."

"You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers. With Liubomir’s reeds, they form a cultural jazz experience that can’t be compared with anything else!" – Dick Metcalf (Improvijazzation Nation Magazine)

On top of leading his own quartet, quintet, duo projects, and co-leading the group SEVA, Hristo also co-writes and plays guitar with Joe De Rose and Amici - an energetic jazz/fusion formation lead by drummer Joe De Rose. Hristo has appeared on countless radio shows/programs all around the world.

Hristo has also performed in world-class jazz venues and festivals including Yoshi’s Jazz Club (Oakland, CA), Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (Half Moon Bay, CA), Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA), Anthology (San Diego, CA), Catalina Jazz Club (Hollywood, CA), The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head Island, SC), Heidi's Jazz Club (Cocoa Beach, FL), Alvas Showroom (San Pedro, CA), The Jazz Station (Eugene, OR), Egan's Ballard Jam House (Seattle, WA), Timucua White House (Orlando, FL), Ivories Jazz Club (Portland, OR), The Herbst Theater (San Francisco, CA), SOhO Jazz Club (Santa Barbara, CA), as well as major jazz festivals including the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey, CA), 2009/2010/2012/2013 AT&T San Jose Jazz Festival (San Jose, CA), 2010 and 2012 Redwood City “Jazz on Main” (Redwood City, CA), Okazaki Jazz Festival (Okazaki, Japan) and many more.

Hristo holds a B.A. in Music (Jazz Studies) from San Jose State University in San Jose, CA.
He has also studied in the prestigious Roland Music Academy in Caracas, Venezuela.

Students can benefit from Hristo's completely amazing knowledge on the instrument as well as music/harmony theory. He will work and design unique and specific goals tailored to each student's individual interests. His dedication and passion for teaching are first class!!!

*** Lesson Details ***
I design my lessons with the specific student goals in mind.

For Beginner students: we will start by exploring rhythm concepts and understanding how to read music. Learning the physics of the guitar and exploring the notes in the first few positions. Learning open position chords, and simple chords progressions, major and pentatonic scales,etc.

For Intermediate students: we will continue expanding our knowledge of the higher positions of the guitar, as well as develop better sight-reading skills. Bar cords and chord transposition, and music theory. Expanding our scalar vocabulary to modes, and minor scales. Learning arpeggios and classical etudes.

For Advance students: Close interval voicings, jazz improvisation, chord to scale relationships, and harmonic substitutions are some of the concepts we will cover. Learning solo guitar playing (chord melody), incorporating walking bass lines, transcription skill and arranging skills.

*** Studio Equipment ***
A specific music room with a few guitars, a keyboard, amps, and recording equipment and music stands

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my guitar and amp.
Students should provide their guitars and amps (if needed)

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Jazz guitar, improvisation, harmonic studies and theory.
Chord melodies, building lines, phrasing, voice-leading, chordal improvisation, and re-harmonization/substitution.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Kim L. April 26, 2014
Guitar
Verified Student
Outstanding Performer

Hristo is the most inspirational teacher I've every had the pleasure to learn from. He shares his talent in a way that I look forward to every lesson. His patience and positive reinforcement encourages me to keep practicing. He selects the appropriate music for my level and teaches all genres. Thank you for working with me every week. I hope I get to work with him for as long as I can until he becomes too famous to continue teaching us.
Silhouette-80
AllenH April 4, 2012
Great Instructor

I've been taking lessons from Hristo for a couple of months now. He is friendly, affable, and extremely patient. I enjoy our lessons, and have learned quite a bit in the short time we have been working together.
Silhouette-80
JeanetteY March 7, 2012
wonderful instructor and very accomodating. We are appreciative of his talents!!
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Hristo V.

Hristo V.

San Jose, CA 95118
(9)
starting at
$65 / 30-min
Profile_72446_pi_10171269_661171313957509_3664585491104643549_n

Arielle V.

Santa Cruz, CA

Although my main focus is vocals, I have been playing guitar for 10 years. My guitar teaching methods are a combination of things I have gathered from my time at Berklee, the Mel Bay guitar books, and much more. We will cover all the basic scales, chords, strumming and picking patterns, learn about accompaniment and healthy playing technique. I love watching what a little bit of passion and practice can do for a student when learning a new instrument!

About Arielle

I am a voice, guitar, songwriting and music theory teacher located in Santa Cruz for the summer! I have four years of teaching experience, and a lifetime of performance and writing experience. I graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2014 with a degree in songwriting. Since then, I have been working with several bands, writing and performing my original music and teaching students of all ages. My lessons are customized to fit you or your child's specific goals and interests. Above all, I believe music should be fun!
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Audrey W. June 11, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
My daughter, Audrey loved her. Asked me if Arielle could come over every day. Wish we could afford that...for now once a week.
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View Profile
Arielle V.

Arielle V.

Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(1)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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