will be hosting a tribute to renowned American Jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery at the American University in Cairo on Friday, September 29.
Hailed as one of the most influential Jazz guitarists of all time, Montgomery was born on March 6, 1925 in Indiana, and first picked up a guitar when he was 19 years old.
Montgomery was entirely self-taught, teaching himself music by studying the works of his idol, Charlie Christian. It was Montgomery’s outsider experience with music allowed him to approach it with a fresh hand. Oddly, he played the strings without a pick, using his thumbs instead to create a warm, rounded sound that was truly his.
Montgomery’s career would officially begin in 1948, when he started touring with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, and later playing solo across Indianapolis in the mid 1950s, and later recorded several tracks with his brothers and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard on the Pacific Jazz label. By 1959 Montgomery had been discovered by a talent agent and signed on to the Riverside label. His 1960 album ‘The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery’ established him as a fantastic new name in the jazz music scene.
Balancing a demanding family life, factory work and his rising musical career eventually proved too much for Montgomery, unfortunately, and he passed away of a sudden heart attack on June 15, 1968, straight after a national tour. In his lifetime Montgomery had performed well over a dozen albums, and his legacy as one of the world’s most famous jazz guitarists is still enduring.