Julian Lage

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Julian Lage
Julian Lage at the Monterey Jazz Festival, 2014
Julian Lage at the Monterey Jazz Festival, 2014
Background information
Born (1987-12-25) December 25, 1987 (age 35)
Santa Rosa, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
LabelsEmArcy, Mack Avenue, Blue Note[1]

Julian Lage (/lɑːʒ/ LAHZH; born December 25, 1987) is an American guitarist and composer.


A child prodigy, Lage was the subject of the 1996 short documentary film Jules at Eight.[2] At 12, he performed at the 2000 Grammy Awards. Three years later, he became a faculty member of the Stanford Jazz Workshop at Stanford University.[3] Classically trained at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he has studied at Sonoma State University and the Ali Akbar College of Music. He graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 2008.[4]

On March 24, 2009 EmArcy released his debut album Sounding Point to favorable reviews.[5][6] It was nominated for the 2010 Grammy Award Best Contemporary Jazz Album. His second album, Gladwell, was released April 26, 2011, to positive reviews.[7][8][9][10] His first solo acoustic album, World's Fair, was released on March 2, 2015, and his fourth album, Arclight, was released on March 11, 2016.

In a 2016 interview promoting "Arclight" on NPR program "Fresh Air" Lage revealed that around the time of the release of "World's Fair" he struggled with a bout of Focal dystonia, a neurological disorder resulting from the repeated performance of tasks, that caused spasming in his left arm and hand when trying to play the guitar. He believed that the condition was brought on through playing and gripping the neck of his guitar too hard because the guitar was bigger than he was while learning at age 5. At the time he believed that that was what he needed to do to "sound official... and [not] drop the guitar." Eventually he had to "re-learn how to play the guitar in a way that... addressed these tendencies that got [him] in trouble in the first place."[11]

He has worked in a trio with Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wollesen and has recorded duo albums with guitarists Chris Eldridge, Gyan Riley, and Nels Cline. For the 2017 guitar duo album Mount Royal, Lage and Eldridge received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.[12]

He is currently a faculty member at the New England Conservatory of Music.[13]

Squint and View With a Room (2021-present)[edit]

On March 17, 2021, it was announced that he signed to Blue Note Records. Along with the announcement, it was announced that his debut release on the label entitled Squint would be released on June 11. The lead single "Saint Rose" was released on that day as well.[1] April 9 saw the release on the second single "Boo's Blues."[14] April 30 saw the release of the third single "Etude." The fourth single "Familiar Flower" was released on May 21.

Lage's sophomore record on Blue Note entitled View With a Room was released on September 16, 2022[15] The lead single "Auditorium" was released on June 21.[16] "Word for Word," the second single, was released on July 13.[17] The third single "Tributary" was released on August 10.[18] The fourth single, "Chavez" was released on August 31.[19]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Gary Burton

With John Zorn

  • Midsummer Moons (Tzadik, 2017)
  • Insurrection (Tzadik, 2018)
  • Salem 1692 (Tzadik, 2018)
  • The Book Beri'ah (Tzadik, 2018)
  • Nove Cantici Per Francesco D'Assisi (Tzadik, 2019)
  • Virtue (Tzadik, 2020)
  • Songs for Petra (Tzadik, 2020)
  • Teresa De Ávila (Tzadik, 2021)
  • Parables (Tzadik, 2021)
  • New Masada Quartet (Tzadik, 2021)
  • A Garden Of Forking Paths (Tzadik, 2021)
  • Incerto (Tzadik, 2022)

With others

Awards and nominations[edit]

Julian Lage awards and nominations
  1. ^ Certain award groups do not simply award one winner. They recognize several different recipients, have runners-up, and have third place. Since this is a specific recognition and is different from losing an award, runner-up mentions are considered wins in this award tally. For simplification and to avoid errors, each award in this list has been presumed to have had a prior nomination.
Year Nominated work Event Award Result
2010 Sounding Point Grammy Awards Best Contemporary Jazz Album Nominated
2018 Mount Royal (with Chris Eldridge) Best Contemporary Instrumental Album Nominated
2018 Independent Music Awards Best Instrumental Album Won
2019 Modern Lore Grammy Awards Best Contemporary Instrumental Album Nominated


  1. ^ a b Peacock, Tim (March 17, 2021). "Guitar Virtuoso Julian Lage Signs To Blue Note, Announces New Album, 'Squint'". UDiscoverMusic. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  2. ^ Deluke, RJ (March 23, 2009). "Julian Lage: Stepping Into the Limelight". All About Jazz. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  3. ^ "Stanford Jazz Festival, Jazz Camp & Jazz Residency: A swinging success!". Stanford Jazz Workshop. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  4. ^ "Julian Lage's Modern Lore". Mack Avenue.
  5. ^ Nastos, Michael. "Sounding Point: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  6. ^ Fordham, John (May 1, 2009). "Julian Lage: Sounding Point". The Guardian. London. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  7. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Gladwell: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  8. ^ Alkyer, Frank (May 1, 2011). "Julian Lage Group, Gladwell". Downbeat. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  9. ^ Chinen, Nate (May 2, 2011). "Julian Lage "Gladwell"". New York Times. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  10. ^ Gilbert, Andrew (April 22, 2011). "Noisy Neighbors, New sounds from close to home". Boston Globe.
  11. ^ "Jazz Guitarist Julian Lage On 'Arclight' And Shifting Musical Genres". NPR Music. April 13, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2023.
  12. ^ Perlmutter, Adam (February 24, 2018). "Julian Lage at 30: A Visit in San Francisco With the Jazz Guitar Phenomenon". Acoustic Guitar.
  13. ^ "Julian Lage". Necmusic.edu. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  14. ^ Todd, Nate (April 9, 2021). "Julian Lage Shares 'Boo's Blues' Single". JamBase. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  15. ^ Feibel, Adam (June 27, 2022). "Julian Lage teams up with Bill Frisell on new album View With a Room". Jazz.FM. Jazz.FM91. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  16. ^ Major, Michael (June 21, 2022). "Julian Lage Announces New Album With Bill Frisell & Shares First Song". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  17. ^ Schube, Will (July 13, 2022). "Julian Lage Shares New Single 'Word For Word'". uDiscoverMusic. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  18. ^ Schube, Will (August 10, 2022). "Listen To Julian Lage's New Song 'Tributary'". uDiscoverMusic. Retrieved August 14, 2022.
  19. ^ Horsely, Jonathan (August 31, 2022). "Watch Julian Lage Dial Up the Virtuosity in the Video for Playful New Single, "Chavez"". Guitar Player. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  20. ^ "Julian Lage: Live in Los Angeles". Mackavenue.com. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  21. ^ "Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge - Mount Royal". Free Dirt Records & Service Co. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  22. ^ "Bone Collector video from Julian & Chris". Bluegrass Today. January 10, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2018.

External links[edit]