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Howard Alden

Howard Alden   Jazz Guitarist Howard Alden was born in 1958 in Newport Beach, California. Not satisfied with the standard from the start, at age ten Alden began learning the banjo and tenor guitar.
Alden's interest in jazz started with recordings of Count Basie, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman, and as a student of guitar, he loved the sounds of Barney Kessel, Charlie Christian and George Van Eps. By the age of twelve, Alden had taught himself a small songbook of jazz standards, and he started playing with a local band at a neighborhood pizza parlor.

After playing professionally around Los Angeles while still a teenager, in 1977, Alden was studying with Howard Roberts at the Guitar Institute of Technology, and was invited to teach there after graduation.

By 1982, Alden moved east to New York City where Joe Williams and Woody Herman noticed his skills as both a soloist and accompanist. Soon after, he was signed to Concord Jazz, and it was on that label in 1991 that Alden recorded the album "Thirteen Strings" with his hero and mentor, George Van Eps.

Alden's as creative as his sound, commanding single-string improvisation and fret board harmony. Jazzscene has said of Alden, "If there are better young jazz guitarists players in America than Howard Alden, I have yet to hear them."

After Alden's collaboration with seven-string guitar master Eps, he's been playing nothing but the Benedetto ever since. Legendary luthier Robert Benedetto proclaims, "In another life, he must have been a guitar!" The instrument allows for greater harmonic variability and tonal richness, and with Alden's touch, its range of timbres is seemingly limitless.

Related Links
  • Concord Records: Howard Alden