Ross Hammond

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Ross Hammond
Born (1977-08-10) August 10, 1977 (age 44)
Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.
GenresJazz, free jazz, avant-garde jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, promoter
Associated actsScott Amendola, Vinny Golia, Sameer Gupta

Ross Hammond (born August 10, 1977) is a jazz guitarist and concert promoter. He co-founded the In the Flow Jazz and Improvisational Music Festival, which has been held annually in Sacramento, California, since 2008.


Hammond was born August 10, 1977, in Lexington, Kentucky. He moved to Sacramento when he was 10 years old. Hammond started playing guitar, a gift from his mother, two years later. He wanted to play drums, but his mother was in favor of the more portable guitar. Hammond played rock, funk, and soul music in high school.[1][full citation needed] He graduated from Christian Brothers High School in 1995.

He attended California State University Sacramento, where he received a degree in communication in 1999. "I was taking lessons from a really good guitar teacher named Jim Beeler, and he introduced me to Kenny Burrell and Grant Green and Wes Montgomery and Mark Whitfield. It was a step further than what I was already doing."[1][full citation needed] While studying at CSUS, Hammond started a band called Chile Palmer.

His recording career as a leader began in 2003 with the album Gauche, followed by Optimism (2004), Sometimes Nocturnal (2005), Ross Hammond's Teakayo Mission (2007), Duets (2008), and Effective Use of Space (2009).

In 2008, Hammond and Byron Blackburn co-founded the In the Flow Jazz and Improvisational Music Festival. The festival emphasizes free form jazz and takes place annually in Sacramento.

Hammond started the new decade with the solo guitar album Ambience, Antiquite and Other Love Songs (2010). In 2012, he formed the Ross Hammond Quartet with multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia, drummer Alex Cline, and bassist Steuart Liebig. The quartet released Adored in 2012 and Cathedrals in 2013.[2] Both albums were recorded live in one day in a style reminiscent of classic jazz albums.[3] Cathedrals received a four-star review in Downbeat and was named one of the top jazz releases of 2013.[4] Jazz critic Ted Gioia named the album Upward (2016) by Hammond and Sameer Gupta thirty-fifth in his top 100 albums of the year.[5]

Hammond plays in a duo with drummer Scott Amendola called Lovely Builders and in Electropoetic Coffee with poet NSAA (Lawrence Dinkins). He has also worked with Adam Lane, Alan Cook, Alex Jenkins, Calvin Weston, Darren Johnston, Devin Hoff, Dwight Trible, G. E. Stinson, John Hanes, Ken Filiano, Kevin Corcoran, Kevin Seconds, Mike Pride, Murray Campbell, Oliver Lake, Sameer Gupta, Steve Adams, and Vinny Golia.

Selected discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • Gauche (2003) with Sameer Gupta and Gerry Pineda
  • Optimism (2004) with Tom Monson and Gerry Pineda
  • Sometimes Nocturnal (2005)
  • Ross Hammond's Teakayo Mission (2007)
  • Duets (2008)
  • An Effective Use of Space (2009)
  • Ambience, Antiquite and Other Love Songs (2010)
  • Adored (2012)
  • Cathedrals (2013)
  • Mean Crow (2015) with Luke Stewart and Nate Scheible[6]

As co-leader/sideman[edit]

  • Race Quintet: Travels (2004) Ross Hammond, Tony Passarell, Tom Monson, Erik Kleven, and Scott Anderson[7]
  • The Ni Project (2005)
  • V Neck (2007)
  • Electropoetic Coffee (2011)
  • Revival Trio (2012)
  • Amy Reed (2013)
  • Upward (2016) with Sameer Gupta


  1. ^ a b Interview conducted by Jason Crane, July 2013
  2. ^ The Free Jazz Collective, 5 June 2013
  3. ^ "Whatever Lola Wants" Sacramento News Review, 23 February 2012
  4. ^ "Best Albums of 2013" (PDF). Downbeat Magazine. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  5. ^ Gioia, Ted. "The 100 Best Albums of 2016". Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  6. ^ Acquaro, Paul (7 December 2015). "Ross Hammond - Mean Crow (Prescott Records, 2015) ****". Free Jazz Blog. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  7. ^ One Final Note review, 22 February 2005

External links[edit]