Rising Stars: Jazz Guitarists To Keep Your Eye On In 2019
December 4, 2018

Written by Austin Consordi

Rising Stars: Jazz Guitarists To Keep Your Eye On In 2019

The challenging art of jazz guitar is such a high level of musicianship. In this list, we’re doing our bit for the music community and discussing some of the best jazz guitarists out there, and those who are currently active and releasing music, so you can keep an eye on them through 2019 and try and catch their new releases or see them on tour.

Kurt Rosenwinkel

Rosenwinkel may not be a totally new ‘rising star’ but after a long period of hiatus he is back actively making music, with rumours of a follow up to his 2017 release Caipi.

Kurt was born in Philadelphia and has something of a cult following. His music takes influences from lots of different genres but the jazz signature strongly runs throughout his music.

Rich layering means his studio recordings are always interesting and there is something new to hear on every listen.

His jazz guitar style has some wonderful emotive soloing which has inspired guitarists everywhere. He has been active for many years, but many live in hope that his most exciting years could still be ahead of him.


Gilad Hekselman

A stunningly talented musician who was brought up in Israel but has built a name for himself playing jazz clubs in New York since 2004 when he was extremely young.

Gilad has five studio albums, and we’re expecting more in the pipeline, but even if nothing is released in the coming months this is still a musician worth checking out.

Hekselman has an unbelievable technique and unlike some jazz musicians he is very active on social media and has well and truly immersed himself in the New York jazz scene, meaning you can catch him in one of many iconic jazz clubs.

During his 2019 shows, Gilad will likely be promoting his most recent album which came out in the second half of 2018. Called Ask for Chaos, he released this himself on his label Hexophonic Music.

Though this is the only release on his label yet, with Gilad’s connections it is probably worth keeping an eye out for Hexophonic in the hope of more exciting and fresh New York jazz.


Julian Lage

Julian Lage is arguably the most prolific of all the guitarists we’ve featured on our list, and he is also one of the youngest. Lage was known as a child prodigy and was the subject of a documentary when he was just eight years old. Lage performed at the Grammys when he was just 12 years old.

Lage is working with his own jazz trio on new material in 2018, and in 2017 he worked with Chris Eldridge on a guitar album entitled Mount Royal, which earned the pair a nomination for a Grammy award.

Julian works with a wide range of other musicians both live and in the studio, so we’re hoping for a lot more shows and releases in 2019 from at least some of the projects he is involved with. Lage is just 30 years old so we expect a lot more exciting music from the hands of this guitar wizard.

Mike Moreno

Moreno is another musician who made a name for himself in New York and had already gained a reputation at a very young age. His scholarship for the New School University gave him a big break and he has worked with many big names in the New York city jazz scene.

Mike is a very adept musician, and has a huge amount of talent as you might expect, but he also isn’t an ‘over the top’ musician.

He seems to enjoy honing and perfecting his melodies and harmonies rather than playing overly ambitious solos. This is one of his strengths as a musician, and his understated style has earned Moreno Grammy nominations and a lot of exceptional reviews in the industry.

Moreno already has many shows lined up in 2019 and can be seen touring around the USA and hopefully beyond. Playing with his jazz quartet, he releases new music regularly and is well worth trying to catch in a show over the next year.


In the world of music in general we live in a very exciting time. Although jazz, and specifically jazz guitar, is something of a small niche in the world of music genres, our generation of DIY recording, YouTube, jazz guitar websites and streaming services we have more music at our fingertips than ever before.

Exciting jazz scenes in the USA and further afield will always crop up some surprises, but the musicians on our list are certainly among those you should be following online to see what they are working on or if they are popping in to a venue near you.

Austin Consordi

2 responses to “Rising Stars: Jazz Guitarists To Keep Your Eye On In 2019”

  1. Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS says:

    LORNE LOFSKY???!!!
    I played with LORNE and OSCAR PETERSON at YORK UNIVERSITY in TORONTO, ONTARIO (1983-1986)!!
    One of my final songs at a YORK CONCERT was :
    “GOOD BAIT”!!
    Check out: THE CHRIS NOWAK PROJECT: VOL.1,2 or 3 on YOUTUBE!!

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