Jack Austin - Professional Swing Jazz Guitarist
Although Jack Austin could have been seen performing throughout East Anglia and elsewhere in the UK since 2003, he started his full time professional career as a jazz guitarist in 2010. Jack prides himself on a professional attitude towards his work, yet still allows his passion for music and the art of improvisation to flow freely during every performance. His grass roots experience of live entertainment derives from his performing in bars and pubs in East Anglia, to playing for his supper and tips on the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Living in New Orleans for 6 months was the inspiration for me to pursue my love of jazz full time, and upon my return from the "Crescent city" to Norfolk I've not looked back musically since that time.
Nowadays you can find him performing at weddings, corporate events and jazz festivals alike, mainly in his home county of Norfolk, yet still remaining true to the principal that jazz music was born on the streets of New Orleans. Likewise, he can be seen busking on the streets of the towns and cities of the UK and Europe, making friends, contacts and selling his wares to a generous and grateful public.
After picking up my fathers' acoustic guitar with the intention of becoming a singer/songwriter like the old man, I spent a while on the local open mic scene. When I discovered jazz guitar I realized I had to start from scratch if I was even going to understand the basics of jazz and music theory. I turned to Phil Brooks for tuition, a virtuoso of the jazz guitar who offered me a wealth of experience and knowledge
Jack now has two CD's available for sale. His first solo offering is a direct reproduction of his "street music" style. Often he would be asked whilst busking if he had a CD for sale. (he had made one - it is a well crafted recording with a fellow guitarist, and one of Jacks early inspirations - Ron Wilson - a die hard Django Reinhardt enthusiast). Although proud of this collaboration he felt he needed to offer something more personal to his audience and so, with the aid of his trusty loop pedal he made the aptly titled album "Put the pedal to the pavement". Many copies have been sold since, and his fans hail from the UK, Europe, Asia and the USA.
My CD's have appeared under Christmas trees, as birthday presents, one was bought by Mark Flanagan - Jools Holland's guitarist. I find it very flattering that people want to take my music home and listen to it while making dinner or spending some quiet time alone. It's great to feel that I can be part of people's lives - and hope that it makes them feel good.
I would like to thank everyone who has bought my CD, and those who have donated to my "hat" on the street. They are the people who make me who I am, and who have helped to steer my music in a direction that stimulates both me and their interest for jazz music".
There is no audience anywhere like the one on the street. You never know who you're going to meet, or how much you're going to make on the day, but it has given me the confidence to perform comfortably in pretty well any environment
Jack's second album, titled "For Michelle" (to be released at the end of May 2013) is a combination of solo arrangements and collaborations with fellow musicians, such as Ron Hackett, a first class professional clarinettist, and long-time performer in the USA. Ron has performed with most of the established American jazz musicians over the years, and has been an inspiration to Jack's own style. Also, included on the CD are two tracks, performed with guitarist Ron Wilson, to whom Jack owes much of his musical technique. Ron is a well-established jazz guitarist from Hertfordshire, who has performed at numerous special occasions, including a dinner party for the Prince of Wales. Jack also includes two original arrangements of "chord melody" pieces on the CD, "Nuages" by Django Reinhardt and "All of Me" by Marks and Simons, which add variation to the ambiance.
Jack would like to thank everyone who has shown interest in his music, as he continually strives to hold true to his art. He also wishes to thank anyone and everyone that has not already been mentioned but who has helped him on his way.