Contemporary Jazz Guitar
Guitar con Sabor
Since the age of five years old, I have had a continuous love affair with music. From autoharp to choir to clarinet to bassoon and even baritone saxophone, the introduction of the guitar into my life was the last arrow that stung my musical heart and still drives my passion to create music till this day. My musical foundation was built at Berklee during the late 90’s with some fantastic musicians and teachers. And, it was tested and blessed by the countless of world class musicians that I have had the honor to share the stage with. Performing is my passion, but composing and education have always been my life work away from the stage. I was featured in the “European Real Book” with my latin jazz composition “Despedidas” among some of the greatest European jazz composers for which I’m eternally grateful for. This book is one of the revered jazz bibles where everybody and anybody in the world can play your compositions from. Last but not least, my continuous work as a passionate educator has inspired many students and institutions in Europe: Suomi/Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Israel, Italy, Spain and in the US with my knowledge and knowhow.
Jazz Music and Education
“Neff Irizarry has embarked down a path travelled by few guitarists in contemporary jazz and certainly contemporary Latin jazz! Not since the groups of Willie Bobo during the late ‘60s which featured guitarist Sonny Henry has a guitarist attempted to hold down the entire harmonic weight of such a group. To execute all the montunos, guajeos, necessary harmonizations, and to solo with clarity and fire is a tall order but Neff is certainly up to the task. His group is already on the threshold of doing some very interesting things in the genre, and the potential is endless. Neff’s group should open the minds and ears of many as to just what is possible in this format”.
– Steve Khan, guitarist –
I had the honor of working with guitarist Neff Irizarry and his band on this very special Latin Jazz project entitled “Nepenthe”. I was attracted to the compositions immediately and I was very interested in the context that is was being presented. Latin music, in general, is not centered around the guitar. The piano is usually the main melodic instrument with the bass and percussion in rhythmic support.
– Jimmy Haslip –
A highly talented Guitarist specializing in Latin Jazz and contemporary jazz, who I came to know quite well years ago while he was an undergraduate student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and later, in a professional capacity.
We actually coincided last year at the famous Birstonas Jazz Festival in Lithuania where he was one of the main artists performing.
Throughout this time, I have found Mr. Irizarry to be a tireless worker with a strong work ethic and a high level of focus, which has allowed him to continue developing his artistry…..
– Victor Mendoza, vibraphonist and Professor at Berklee College of Music –
Finally we have a well-honed CD of brazillian renditions of J. Karjalainen’s famous songs…..Naturally, the band consists of vital and important foreign musicians such as Eduardo himself and Johnson, among others. BUT, also one must point out the excellent playing of Puertorican American guitarist, Neff Irizarry II, who is well known by all here in Finland for his own progressive Latin Jazz.
– Mikko Saarela, RYTMI MAGAZINE –
Get in touch
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