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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo courtesy of the artist.

UPDATE: This performance has been CANCELLED due to flight cancellations and transportation issues associated with Winter Storm Nemo. Artists from the group will not be able to return to New York in time to perform. All advance tickets sold for both of these events will be refunded in full. Please spread the word, and we hope to see you soon.

Writing about the guitarist Mike Moreno in JazzTimes magazine, Nate Chinen declares, “There are many other guitarists out there pushing towards a modern ideal, but none with the precise coordinates that Mike Moreno has charted.” In an interview for the same magazine, Pat Metheny recommends Mike as “a really talented guy who impressed me beyond the notes, for his general feeling, and what he’s going for.”

Since his arrival in New York, Mike has become one of the most in-demand guitarists on the scene, performing with Greg OsbyJeff “Tain” WattsJoshua RedmanWynton MarsalisNicholas PaytonKenny Garrett, and many others. He has also recorded with Bilal and Q-Tip, as well as peers such as Aaron ParksRobert Glasper, Jeremy Pelt, and Marcus Strickland, to name just a few. The guitarist has also released four albums as a leader: Between The Lines (World Culture), Third Wish (Criss Cross), First In Mind (Criss Cross), and Another Way (World Culture).

Mike grew up in Houston, TX, and attended the Houston School of the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), “a really inspirational, concentrated environment” that produced peers and contemporaries such as Robert Glasper, Jason Moran, Eric Harland, Chris Dave, and many others. Who are Mike’s main influences? According to an NPR interview from 2008, they include the trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, the saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and the pianist Herbie Hancock, as well as the guitarists Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell. In the same interview, he took a crack at describing his own music:

The harmonic element in my music is pretty defined and pretty intricate, the melodies that I write are pretty simple…singable and memorable, but the harmonic structure is definitely the most complex part of it. And, really, I try to make sure the harmonic element has a melody of its own and a sound of its own without the horn playing the melody or the guitar playing the melody…it’s very heavy on the bottom part, the supporting structure of the songs.

We’ve been presenting Mike’s groups since 2003; on Saturday, we welcome his quartet, featuring the pianist Aaron Parks, the bassist Doug Weiss, and the drummer Jochen Rueckert, to our new home (1160 Broadway, 5th Floor).

Watch a different incarnation of Mike’s quartet (here with the bassist Matt Brewer and the drummer Ted Poor) performing “Airegin” live at Jazz Standard.