New West Guitar Group
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New West Guitar Group (NWGG) is a guitar trio formed in 2003. The three group members—Perry Smith of New York City, John Storie of Los Angeles, and Jeffrey Stein of New York City—met while students at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, where they studied Studio/Jazz Guitar performance. The group has performed across the United States, Japan, Germany and Canada.
Originally a quartet, the New West Guitar Group started as an ensemble within the Studio/Jazz Guitar department within the USC Thornton School of Music. After placing first at the University of North Texas Jazz Festival at Addison in 2004, the group decided to release an album titled Introducing: New West Guitar Quartet, which became the first recording released on the USC Thornton School of Music's Flora Records label. In 2005, the group collaborated with jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, and later traveled to Japan to represent USC at the Aichi Expo 2005 in Nagoya, Japan.
In 2007 was chosen to represent the City of Los Angeles at the LA/Berlin Sister's City Festival in Berlin, Germany, and their release of Wide Awake on Artsong Music established the group as one of the only acoustic & electric guitar ensembles in Los Angeles.
In 2009 the group became a trio, released Sleeping Lady, and gained member Jeffrey Stein in replacement for original group member Brady Cohan.
The trio has released 5 albums and a live concert DVD. They are currently signed to Summit Records. Their 2011 album Round-Trip Ticket has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, and charted at #28 on the JazzWeek radio charts. In September 2013, they released Big City featuring arrangements of music by The Police, Simon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, and Tears for Fears.
New West has been known to experiment with various guitar tunings including DADGAD and Nashville tuning, along with the standard tuning of guitar. Their music predominantly features a Steel-string acoustic guitar and archtop guitar, but they have been known to use a classical guitar, baritone guitar and fanned fret guitars. Their style, by combining acoustic and electric guitars, distinguishes the group as one of the few guitar ensembles with this instrumentation.
- Introducing: New West Guitar Quartet (2005)
- Thornton Retrospective (2006)
- Wide Awake (Artsong, 2007)
- Sleeping Lady (2009)
- Round Trip Ticket (Summit, 2011)
- Big City (Summit, 2013)
- Send One Your Love (Summit, 2015)
- Harabidian, Eric (April 1, 2012) "New West Guitar Group: Industrious Attitude" (Interview) (pdf). Downbeat Magazine (April 2012)
- Ljiljana Grubisic, "New West Quartet Bound for Berlin", USC Public Relations, July 5, 2007, Accessed March 4, 2009.
- JazzWeek Chart for December 7, 2011
- Walton, Jack (August 15, 2013) "Originality distinguishes New West, Haque" (html) . South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Indiana).