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Ralph Towner


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Ralph Towner is an American acoustic guitarist. He also plays piano, synthesizer, and trumpet.

Born in 1940 in Chehalis, Washington, Towner is one of the most diversely talented musicians of the past half-century, and has made notable recordings of jazz, classical music, folk music, and world music. In college Towner first majored in music composition at the University of Oregon. At that time his instruments were jazz piano and trumpet. He quickly became interested in classical guitar and moved to Vienna, Austria to study with Karl Scheit. After one year with Scheit he returned to the U.S.and began playing gigs around New York City. Towner joined world music pioneer Paul Winter’s “Consort” ensemble in the late 1960s. Along with bandmates Paul McCandless, Glen Moore, and Collin Walcott, Towner left the Winter Consort in 1970 to form the group Oregon, which over the course of the 1970s issued a number of highly influential records mixing folk music, Indian classical forms, and avant-garde jazz-influenced free improvisation. At the same time, Towner began a longstanding relationship with the influential ECM record label, which has released virtually all of his non-Oregon recordings since his 1972 debut as a leader Trios/Solos. Towner has also made numerous appearances as a sideman, perhaps most famously on jazz fusion heavyweights Weather Report’s 1972 album I Sing the Body Electric within which he played a 12-string guitar.


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  • Adrian-Azar

    Travel Guide should be tagged as MGT. Wolfgang Muthspiel, Slava Grigoryan and Ralph Towner

    30 Sep 2013 Reply
  • jazzthieve

    Spotify playlist Jazz: Bebop, Cool, Swing, Vocal, Fusion, Modal, Stride, Dixieland, Third Stream, Big Band, Hard Bop

    11 May 2013 Reply
  • Destinee695


    30 Jun 2011 Reply
  • ajstein64

    glad to see so many others are aware of towner's brilliant music. a "lost album" of his that i'd recommend is named "if summer had its ghosts" (bill bruford, eddie gomez, released as a bruford title)

    16 Apr 2011 Reply
  • DegreeX

    Ralph Towner has created some of the most diverse and interesting music ever. His technique is flawless as well. It's a shame hes not very well known.

    11 Mar 2011 Reply
  • HeikeMatthiesen

    It was wonderful to meet you, you played a phantastic concert at the Oberhausen guitar festiavl!! hope to see you again somewhen somwhere..

    13 Nov 2010 Reply
  • psyclonought

    very heartfelt and moving,ihad to the volume down as i could have started crying it really sings out and is great to explore some of these options all the best to fellow travellers

    27 Jan 2010 Reply
  • szmataarmata

    Hey! If you are fan o Weather Report (with Jaco or without him) join my group -

    23 Nov 2009 Reply
  • samueljeronimo

    Listen to these guys: Trape-Zape.

    21 Apr 2009 Reply
  • mambrui

    this colourful sound inspires phantasy and relaxes soul as well .... absolutely perfect *****

    5 Oct 2008 Reply
  • tergan

    heard on Peripheral Music tag radio: Cluster & Brian Eno > Fonica > Jopy > Eberhard Weber > My Fun > Vanessa Rosetto > The Nels Cline Singers > El Heath > Tape > Alog > Fred Frith > Engine7 > Clogs > Raumwerk > brunk > Ralph Towner > Oregon > Leafcutter John > Hauschka > Albert Ayler > Supersilent > Tom Zé… if that mix of music appeals to you, come join us in the Peripheral Music group.

    4 Jul 2008 Reply
  • donKamillo

    Pianist, guitarist - thank You for helping me discover this guy! Listen to the tag radios people!!

    5 Jul 2007 Reply
  • bainer

    incredible talent, sublime technique. i can't say enough about him as a composer and musician.

    17 Feb 2007 Reply
  • kimathim

    One of the world's most innovative and a true genius in today's contemporary music.

    20 Oct 2006 Reply
  • riven213

    A wonderful and original guitarist

    29 Sep 2006 Reply

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