Louis Stewart (guitarist)

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Louis Stewart
Louis Stewart.jpg
Background information
Born(1944-01-05)January 5, 1944
Waterford, Ireland
Died(2016-08-20)August 20, 2016

Louis Stewart (5 January 1944 – 20 August 2016)[1] was an Irish jazz guitarist.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Waterford, Ireland, Stewart grew up in Dublin. He began playing guitar when he was thirteen, influenced by guitarists Les Paul and Barney Kessel. Stewart began his professional career performing in Dublin showbands. In 1968 he won an award as best soloist at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Soon after, he spent three years with Benny Goodman.[2]

Stewart recorded his debut album, Louis the First in Dublin, and then recorded in London Billy Higgins, Peter Ind, Sam Jones, Red Mitchell, and Spike Robinson. From the mid to late 1970s he worked with George Shearing, touring America, Brazil, and playing European festivals, and recording eight albums, including several in a trio with bassist Niels-Henning Orsted-Pedersen. He has appeared on albums by Joe Williams and J. J. Johnson.

In 1981, ahead of his debut in the U.S. as a leader, The New York Times stated, "Mr. Stewart seems to have his musical roots in be-bop. He leans toward material associated with Charlie Parker and he spins out single-note lines that flow with an unhurried grace, colored by sudden bright, lively chorded phrases. His up-tempo virtuosity is balanced by a laid-back approach to ballads, which catches the mood of the piece without sacrificing the rhythmic emphasis that keeps it moving."[3] In a review of Stewart's 1995 album Overdrive, AllMusic stated, "Louis Stewart is one of the all-time greats, and it is obvious from the first notes he plays on any occasion".[4]

Stewart received an honorary doctorate from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1998.[5] In 2009, he was elected to Aosdána, an Irish affiliation of people engaged in literature, music, and visual arts that was established by the Irish Arts Council in 1981 to honour those whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the creative arts in Ireland.


  • Louis the First (Hawk Jazz, 1975)
  • Baubles, Bangles and Beads with Peter Ind (Wave, 1976)
  • Out on His Own (Livia, 1977)
  • Milesian Source (Pye, 1978)
  • Drums and Friends (Livia, 1978)
  • I Thought About You with Sam Jones and Billy Higgins (Livia, 1979)
  • Alone Together (Livia, 1979)
  • Acoustic Guitar Duets (Super Sessions) with Martin Taylor (Jardis, 1985)
  • Good News (Villa, 1989)
  • Three for the Road (Hep, 1989)
  • Winter Song (Jardis, 1990)
  • String Time (Villa, 1990)
  • Louis Stewart Quartet featuring Michael Moore (Cecilia, 1992)
  • In a Mellow Tone (Jardis, 1992)
  • Overdrive (Hep, 1994)
  • I Wished on the Moon (Jardis, 1999)
  • Street of Dreams with Heiner Franz (Jardis, 2002)
  • You've Changed with Frank Harrison (Desert Island Jazz, 2007)
  • Tunes with Jim Doherty (Beechpark, 2013)[6]


  1. ^ Irish jazz musician Louis Stewart dies aged 72
  2. ^ Yanow, Scott (2013). The Great Jazz Guitarists. San Francisco: Backbeat. p. 188. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6.
  3. ^ "Jazz: Louis Stewart From Dublin". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Overdrive: Live at the Tron". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Louis Stewart Biography". All Music. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Louis Stewart | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 December 2017.


  • Feather/Gitler, Encyclopedia of Jazz, Oxford University Press

External links[edit]