John Stowell

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For other people named John Stowell, see John Stowell (disambiguation).
John Stowell
John Stowell 011.JPG
John Stowell at a concert in Bad Marienberg, Westerwald, November 2010
Background information
Birth name John F. Stowell
Born (1950-07-30) July 30, 1950 (age 66)
New York
Origin New York
Genres Jazz
Instruments guitars
Years active 1970–present

John F. Stowell (born July 30, 1950) is an American Jazz guitarist, composer, author and lecturer.


Stowell, who plays electric and acoustic guitar, was born in New York and raised in Connecticut. He had private studies with Linc Chamberland and John Mehegan. Several years later he met bassist David Friesen in New York City. Stowell took a trip to Portland, Oregon, where Friesen lives, and decided to stay. The two formed a duo in 1976 that recorded and toured prolifically for seven years, with performances in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. The duo continues to perform thirty years after their first meeting. In 1983, Stowell and David Friesen joined flutist Paul Horn and Paul’s son Robin Horn (on drums) for a tour of the Soviet Union. In 1977 Stowell recorded his debut album Golden Delicious; his sidemen were Jim McNeely, Mike Richmond, and Billy Hart[1]

Stowell teaches internationally. He has been an Artist-In-Residence at schools in Germany, Indonesia, Argentina, the United States and Canada. He served as assistant director and performer at Oregon Public Broadcasting’s PDX Jazz Summit in 1991, and since 1995 has been a contributing columnist for a number of magazines, including Down Beat, Guitar Player, Canadian Musician, Soundcheck (Germany), and Guitar Club (Italy). In Germany, he teaches at Jazz & Rock Schulen Freiburg with Frank Haunschild, with whom he plays regularly. He has also worked with Uwe Kropinski, Dave Liebman, Hiram Mutschler, Gérard Pansanel, Gustavo Assis-Brasil, David Becker, Nicolao Valiensi and numerous jazz luminaries. In 2005 Stowell published Jazz Guitar Mastery (book and DVD). He continues to live in Portland, Oregon.

Stowell holds his guitar in a diagonal position, which facilitates playing close, piano-like voicings more comfortably.[2]

Stowell's Through the Listening Glass with David Friesen was chosen of the best Jazz Albums of the Decade by the Los Angeles Examiner; he was chosen as a Talent Deserving Wider Recognition by Downbeat’s International Critic’s Poll in 1978 and 1979.


  • Golden Delicious (Inner City, 1977)
  • Through the Listening Glass (Inner City, 1978) with David Friesen
  • Somewhere (Semaphore, 1985)
  • The Banff Sessions (Origin, 1998) with Dave Liebman
  • Jazz Duets with Chema Vilchez
  • Resonance (Origin, 2003/04) solo
  • Listen to This (acoustic music, 2004) with Frank Haunschild
  • Summer Nights (Jardis, 2005 with Kelley Shannon
  • Swan Tones, Vol. 1 (Soloway, 2005)
  • Solitary Tales (Origin, 2008) solo


  1. ^ Album Review: Golden Delicious at AllMusic. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  2. ^ Origin

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