Brian Tarquin

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About Brian Tarquin

An Emmy-winning guitarist, Brian Tarquin has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as a recording artist, composer, author, engineer, and studio owner. Although known for his versatile, genre-bending approach to music, Tarquin first garnered attention with a series of adult contemporary instrumental jazz albums, including 1997's Last Kiss Goodbye, 1999's Soft Touch, and 2001's High Life. He cracked the Top 20 of Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart with 1997's The Best of Acid Jazz, Vol. 2, and has appeared on upwards of 40 albums, selling over 140,000 records in his career. He branched out, earning recognition for his original film and television music, including multiple Emmy Awards for his work on ABC's All My Children, and contributing to shows like MTV's Road Rules, CSI, 24, 20/20, Pawn Stars, Extra, TMZ, and Alias, among others. He has also authored numerous books on guitar playing, production techniques, and the music business. Along with his solo albums, Tarquin has released a number of all-star tribute projects, including 2014's Guitars for Wounded Warriors, 2017's Orlando in Heaven, and 2018's Guitars for Veterans; all of which earned Independent Music Award nominations. Born in 1965 in New York, New York, Tarquin took classes at New York's Mannes School of Music and SUNY New Paltz University, and later studied audio engineering at the Center for the Media Arts. After completing his education, he worked as a producer/engineer at several recording studios (including New York's Electric Lady), and later landed a job as a composer and engineer at Look & Company (which produced commercial jingles). From there, he headed to Los Angeles, where he engineered sessions at Powerhouse Studios and worked at both Restless Records and Virgin. Tarquin continued to compose and record library music while making time for his own projects. In 1995 he landed a record deal with the MCA-distributed Jazz Inspiration label, and the following year he released his debut album, an adult contemporary instrumental jazz effort titled Ghost Dance. Tarquin then jumped over to Instinct Records, where he released his sophomore album, 1997's acid jazz-informed Last Kiss Goodbye. That same year, he hit the Top 20 of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart with The Best of Acid Jazz, Vol. 2, and contributed to other popular albums for the label, including Sweet Emotions and Bossa Brava: Caliente. More of his own hypnotic, groove-oriented albums followed for the label, including 1999's Soft Touch and 2001's High Life; many charting on in the Top Ten at Smooth Jazz Radio's R&R and Gavin charts. Along with his solo work, Tarquin paired with longtime collaborator producer/programmer Chris Ingram to form the genre-bending duo Asphalt Jungle. Together they developed a style that combined electronic music, including techno and drum'n'bass with jazz and hard rock sounds. Asphalt Jungle earned wider recognition when their track "Witchcraft" (from their 2002 album Electro Ave.) became the theme song to the MTV series Road Rules. Asphalt Jungle would record a new theme song, "Tekken," for the second season of Road Rules, and Tarquin's career composing music for television shifted into high gear. He became a multiple Emmy Award winner for his work on the daytime drama All My Children, and his music would be featured on the shows Cheers, Friends, Malcolm in the Middle, Seinfeld, and 24, among many others. In the early 2000s, Tarquin opened his own Jungle Room Studio. He also launched his own record label, BHP Music/Guitar Trax, with a focus on instrumental guitar music. Along with releasing a number of personal projects, the label produced a series of Guitar Masters compilations, featuring such legendary guitarists as Jeff Beck, B.B. King, Carlos Santana, Joe Satriani, and Zakk Wylde, among others. There were also other projects with guitarists like Steve Morse, Frank Gambale, Billy Sheehan, and more. In 2010, Tarquin produced the album Nu Groove for bassist Randy Coven, featuring guitar work by Leslie West. In tandem with his production career, Tarquin continued to branch out. In 2007, Premier Guitar magazine tapped him to write a regular column. Titled "Guitar Studio," the column focused on studio techniques for musicians and recording engineers. Tarquin would go on to pen yet more works, authoring a handful of USA Best Book Award-winning guides on technique and equipment for guitarists, including 2012's Recording Techniques of the Guitar Masters, 2015's Stomp on This: The Guitar Pedal Effects Guidebook, and 2017's Survival Guide for Music Composers. He also launched a radio show, Guitar Trax, on WFIT 89.5FM out of the Florida "Space Coast" area, on which he hosts in-depth interviews with acclaimed artists and performers. In 2014, under the banner Brian Tarquin & Heavy Friends, he issued Guitars for Wounded Warriors, a benefit album featuring appearances by Gary Hoey, Steve Morse, and Billy Sheehan, among others. In 2017 he released Orlando in Heaven, an album created to celebrate the memory of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shootings in Florida. The record found Tarquin playing alongside a bevy of noted players, including iconic jazz guitarists Larry Coryell and Mike Stern, fretless bassist Tony Franklin, keyboardist Bobby Baldwin, and vocalist Phil Naro. That same year came another album, Band of Brothers, this time honoring America's veterans. Along with contributions by Naro and Morse, it also featured appearances by vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (Journey, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Bumblefoot, Trey Gunn (King Crimson), Jeff Watson (Night Ranger), Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake), and guitarist Gary Hoey. Another all-star production, Smooth Jazz Cafe, arrived in 2019 and featured Tarquin, as well as luminaries like Chuck Loeb, Frank Gambale, and Denny Jiosa. ~ Matt Collar

New York, NY, United States
December 2, 1965
Hard Rock

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