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Graham Dechter

Graham Dechter’s jazz-guitar sound is right out of the ’30s and ’40s, a musical era that he can have heard only on disc — Dechter is in his early 20s. Dechter’s phrasing is hip, confident, and the asides — meaning the little afterthoughts he plays following a main lick — are slick and interesting. He favors a modified arch-top guitar that generates a fat, warm tone, and he plays with emotions out of the Billy Strayhorn songbook. As a jazz guitarist, Dechter makes no wrong turns.

A Los Angelino, Dechter was a child musician with skills to land him a seat at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. His first instrument was violin, but at Idyllwild he heard jazz and traded classical music for guitar. He studied with Marshall Hawkins, a bassist and a straight-ahead jazz musician. Dechter’s talents were palpable and doors opened; at 19 he was tapped to join Clayton/Hamilton. Some of the members of that band backed Dechter on his debut CD, last year’s Right on Time.

Modern jazz guitar is a small fraternity: like Bob DeVos, Dechter has that knack for pulling (rather than always plucking) notes from his guitar, and he has the intuition and melodic instincts of a Tony Romano. And the list of jazz luminaries who have utilized Dechter’s skills is staggering: Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, Gilbert Castellanos, Les McCann, Benny Golson, James Moody, and others. He’s played the nation’s major jazz festivals as well, from Playboy to Lincoln Center. This is how traditional jazz survives, on the backs of young players who like old music and then learn to play it better.

Past Event

The Graham Dechter Quartet

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Graham Dechter’s jazz-guitar sound is right out of the ’30s and ’40s, a musical era that he can have heard only on disc — Dechter is in his early 20s. Dechter’s phrasing is hip, confident, and the asides — meaning the little afterthoughts he plays following a main lick — are slick and interesting. He favors a modified arch-top guitar that generates a fat, warm tone, and he plays with emotions out of the Billy Strayhorn songbook. As a jazz guitarist, Dechter makes no wrong turns.

A Los Angelino, Dechter was a child musician with skills to land him a seat at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. His first instrument was violin, but at Idyllwild he heard jazz and traded classical music for guitar. He studied with Marshall Hawkins, a bassist and a straight-ahead jazz musician. Dechter’s talents were palpable and doors opened; at 19 he was tapped to join Clayton/Hamilton. Some of the members of that band backed Dechter on his debut CD, last year’s Right on Time.

Modern jazz guitar is a small fraternity: like Bob DeVos, Dechter has that knack for pulling (rather than always plucking) notes from his guitar, and he has the intuition and melodic instincts of a Tony Romano. And the list of jazz luminaries who have utilized Dechter’s skills is staggering: Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, Gilbert Castellanos, Les McCann, Benny Golson, James Moody, and others. He’s played the nation’s major jazz festivals as well, from Playboy to Lincoln Center. This is how traditional jazz survives, on the backs of young players who like old music and then learn to play it better.

Past Event

The Graham Dechter Quartet

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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