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Dave Stryker Releases New Album, "As We Are"


This morning, award-winning master guitarist, former member of the Stanley Turrentine Quintet, and ArtistWorks jazz guitar instructor, Dave Stryker, released his 34th record as a bandleader entitled As We Are. While there are very few musical feats that Dave hasn’t conquered in his 40-plus year career as a professional jazz musician, Dave broached new territory with As We Are, blending a more traditional small jazz ensemble with the ethereal aesthetics of a classical string quartet.


The caliber of musicians featured on As We Are speaks volumes about Dave’s prowess as a composer, arranger, performer, and bandleader. Supporting Dave on the upright bass is iconic jazz legend and fellow ArtistWorks instructor, John Patitucci. On the drums is the world-renowned Brian Blade, with Julian Shore filling out the harmony on piano and assisting Dave in arranging.


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“My new album As We Are was a dream project for me,” explains Dave. “As such, I decided to ask two of the greatest musicians in the world, John Patitucci and Brian Blade, to join. I feel we can put some positive energy into the world with music, and I hope everyone enjoys listening as much as we enjoyed putting it together.”


What truly sets As We Are apart is the unique infusion of strings alongside the more traditional jazz quartet. Shore played a major role in bringing this element of Dave’s vision to life and assisted in crafting many of the string arrangements. The string section is led by violinist and guest soloist on the album, Sara Caswell, with Monica Davis on second violin, Benni von Gutzeit on viola, and Marika Hughes on cello.


“I have always wanted to do a record with strings,” Dave explains. “So in the Fall of 2020,  I contacted Julian Shore, a great pianist and former student of mine. I’d heard some of his writing for string quartet and immediately wanted to work with him. 20 years after teaching him at a Jazz Camp, we spent a year collaborating on this music.”


The first single released from the record is an original composition by Dave entitled, “Lanes.” Beginning with a medium uptempo groove laid down by Patitucci and Blade, the textures quickly layer in as Dave and Shore enter with supporting harmony and a fluttering of strings glisten over the top. The tune continues to build to an immaculately clean, melodic solo from Dave, followed by spotlights on Blade and Shore.


Dave Stryker - “Lanes” (Official Performance Video):



The album’s second single, released just after the Christmas holiday on December 26, 2021, is Dave’s take on Nick Drake’s classic folk tune, “River Man,” with a unique arrangement designed to accommodate As We Are’s one-of-a-kind ensemble. Dave and company’s interpretation evokes a similar eerie, melancholy quality to the original, with wailing strings crying in the background behind Patitucci’s smooth bass ostinato and Dave’s melodic phrasing.


Dave Stryker - “River Man” (Official Performance Video):



To download As We Are, head to Dave’s website here, or listen on any of your favorite streaming platforms.



Have you always wanted to learn how to play jazz guitar? Through our comprehensive guitar lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn directly from world-renowned jazz guitarist Dave Stryker, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Dave’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner guitar to advanced improvisation techniques, music theory, classic jazz standards, and beyond. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as guitarists and musicians!


Try out some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



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