Earl Klugh

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Earl Klugh
Earl Klugh 2008.jpg
Background information
Born (1953-09-16) September 16, 1953 (age 62)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Smooth jazz, crossover jazz, jazz fusion
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Acoustic Guitar
Years active 1970–present
Website www.earlklugh.com
Notable instruments
Del Langejans electric acoustic

Earl Klugh (pronunciation: /kl/ KLOO; born September 16, 1953) is an American jazz guitarist and composer. In 2006 Modern Guitar magazine wrote that Klugh "is considered by many to be one of the finest acoustic guitar players today."[1]


At the age of thirteen, Klugh was captivated by the guitar playing of Chet Atkins when Atkins made an appearance on the Perry Como Show.[2] Klugh was a performing guest on several of Atkins' albums. Atkins, reciprocating as well, joined Earl on his Magic In Your Eyes album. Klugh also appeared with Atkins on several television programs, including Hee Haw and a 1994 TV special entitled "Read my Licks". Klugh was also influenced by Bob James, Ray Parker Jr, Wes Montgomery and Laurindo Almeida. His sound is a blend of these jazz, pop and rhythm and blues influences, forming a potpourri of sweet contemporary music original to only him.[1]

Klugh's first recording, at age fifteen, was on Yusef Lateef's Suite 16.[3] He played on George Benson's White Rabbit album and two years later, in 1973, joined his touring band.[4]

For their album One on One, Klugh and Bob James received a Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance of 1981. He has since received 12 Grammy nominations, millions of record and CD sales, and continues touring worldwide to this day.

Klugh has recorded over 30 albums including 23 Top Ten charting records—five of them No. 1—on Billboard’s Jazz Album chart. With 2008’s The Spice of Life, Klugh earned his 12th career Grammy nomination—his second nomination and release on the independent Koch label.

Each spring, Klugh hosts a special Weekend of Jazz featuring jazz legends and greats at the Five-Star Broadmoor Hotel & Resort in Colorado Springs.[5] Jazz greats including Ramsey Lewis, Patti Austin, Chuck Mangione, Bob James, Joe Sample, Chris Botti, Roberta Flack, and Arturo Sandoval have all performed at the annual event set in foot of the Colorado Rockies. In November 2010, Klugh brought the 'Weekend of Jazz' to Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina.[6]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label Notes
1976 Earl Klugh EMI Music Distribution
Living inside Your Love Blue Note
1977 Finger Paintings Blue Note
1978 Magic in Your Eyes Blue Note
1979 Heart String Blue Note
1980 Dream Come True EMI Music Distribution received a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Fusion Performance
Late Night Guitar Blue Note
1981 Crazy for You Blue Note
1983 Low Ride Capitol Records
1984 Wishful Thinking EMI Music Distribution
1985 Nightsongs Capitol Records received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance
Soda Fountain Shuffle Warner Bros. Records
1986 Life Stories Warner Bros. Records
1989 Solo Guitar Warner Bros. Records
Whispers and Promises Warner Bros. Records received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance
1991 Midnight in San Juan Warner Bros. Records
1994 Move Warner Bros. Records
1996 Sudden Burst of Energy Warner Bros. Records
1997 The Journey Warner Bros. Records
1999 Peculiar Situation BMG
2005 Naked Guitar Koch Records received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album
2008 The Spice of Life Koch Records received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album
2013 HandPicked Heads Up

Earl Klugh Trio albums[edit]

Year Title Label Notes
1991 The Earl Klugh Trio, Vol. 1 Warner Bros. Records with Gene Dunlap and Ralph Armstrong
1993 Sounds and Visions, Vol. 2 with Gene Dunlap, Ralph Armstrong & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Duet albums[edit]

Year Title Label Notes
1979 One on One Tappan Zee Records with Bob James - Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1981
1982 Two of a Kind Manhattan Records with Bob James
1983 Hotel California/Super Guitar Duo Verve Records with Hiroki Miyano
1987 Collaboration Warner Bros. Records with George Benson
1992 Cool Warner Bros. Records with Bob James

Soundtrack albums[edit]

Year Title Label Notes
1980 How to Beat the High Cost of Living Columbia Records Hubert Laws & Earl Klugh
1983 Marvin and Tige Capitol Records Patrick Williams & Earl Klugh
1986 Just Between Friends Warner Bros. Records Patrick Williams & Earl Klugh

Best of... albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1991 The Best of Earl Klugh, Vol. 1 Blue Note
1992 The Best of Earl Klugh, Vol. 2 Blue Note
1998 The Best of Earl Klugh Warner Bros. Records

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1983 Heart String/Late Night Guitar Liberty Records
1991 Key Notes Capitol Records
1992 A Time for Love Cema
1993 Ballads Manhattan Records
1996 Guitar Magic EMI-Capitol Special Markets
1996 Love Songs Blue Note
1998 Jazz Masters EMI Music Distribution
2004 Guitar Legends Disky
2006 Music for Lovers Blue Note
2007 Ultimate Earl Klugh Mosaic Records
2007 Rhino Hi-Five: Earl Klugh Rhino/Warner Bros.

DVDs & video[edit]

Year Title Label
2001 The Jazz Channel Presents Earl Klugh Image Entertainment
2003 Earl Klugh In Concert BMG/Image


  1. ^ a b Holland, Brian D. (1 February 2006). "Earl Klugh Interview: Guitars, George Benson and Naked Guitar". Modern Guitars Magazine. 
  2. ^ Klugh, Earl. Working with Chet Atkins. Interview with Tom Redmond. Mister Guitar. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Earl Klugh Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Carr, Ian; Priestley, Brian; Fairweather, Digby (2004). The Rough Guide to Jazz. Rough Guides. p. 446. ISBN 978-1843532569. 
  5. ^ "Earl Klugh's Weekend of Jazz". Weekend of Jazz. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Annual Weekend of Jazz". Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 

External links[edit]