Submitted by Staff Writer, Lesley Leatherwood

Award winning jazz guitarist, composer Lloyd Gregory is currently celebrating the success of his current CD, Gentle Warrior, which has been on the jazz indie and radio airplay charts for a remarkable four months (CLICK HERE to download the full press release). As Gregory will be performing live in the Summer “Jazz in the Courtyard” concert series at the Crocker Art Museum on June 20, THE HUB had a chance to chat with the San Francisco-based performer and recording artist.
THE HUB: What is your personal style?
GREGORY: I enjoy just playing my guitar, when I’m home by myself. And when I get to play in front of other people, or when I get to play with my amazing band, well it just makes it more fun.

THE HUB: What is your favorite Grammy performance of all time?
GREGORY: Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s – first solo appearance

THE HUB: What do you like least/best about being famous?
GREGORY: When people know who you are and respect you, it gives you a chance to make some things happen that are a benefit to mankind.

THE HUB: What do you like least about the commercial music industry?
GREGORY: When artists get stifled because of decisions of money crunchers.

THE HUB: What were your musical influences growing up?
GREGORY: All the different guitar players of the day, from the Classical, Flamenco, R&B, Rock and Roll, Jazz, Blues, Fusion and Country. Then to piano players, organists, horn players, composers then Hendrix.

THE HUB: What advice would you give to young musicians looking to get into the profession?
GREGORY: Get a teacher, someone who’s whole purpose is to help you better yourself and then don’t forget Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 Hour” rule.

THE HUB: What is your typical workday?
GREGORY: I play music for a living, that’s not work .

THE HUB: What makes a song a hit?
GREGORY: A hit song has a magic in it, you can’t explain it but, when you hear it you know it!

THE HUB: What slogan do you live by?
GREGORY: I tell people to find what they love to do, study it, refine it and do “that “ for a living, so then you never hate going to work because  your work is your sanctuary. Every situation has stress but if you are doing what you love it makes the stress bearable. My brother told me something one day. I watched him stacking his pennies, dimes and quarters, saving and scraping to buy a car. He said, “If you take the time and sacrifice to buy the car you want, when it needs repair [as it will] you have no problem fixing it because you love your car, but, if you buy something that you call yourself “settling for”, when it needs repair you will hate yourself for having it in the first place.” He then bought a Porsche. I never forgot that.

THE HUB: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
GREGORY: I never thought I live to be 25 years old so everyday is a  blessing!
BIO: An award winning guitarist and composer, Lloyd Gregory is a well-established musician whose style is smooth, soulful, melodic, flowing and immediately charismatic. He is a master of both acoustic and electric guitar. His extensive R&B roots add a distinct texture to his styling. Minor 7th: Acoustic Music Review says, “Lloyd expertly fuses soul, pop and jazz, forging a hybrid that is both enjoyable and intellectually stimulating.”

Gregory effortlessly incorporates genres of African, reggae, Brazilian, R&B and smooth jazz into his performances as well as in the making of his most recent CD, Gentle Warrior. reviewer William Ruhlmann states, “Lloyd Gregory takes listeners on a musical travelogue… The album boasts more variety than the usual smooth jazz guitar collection, reflecting the musician’s lengthy experience and mastery of different styles.”

Although Gregory has released five critically acclaimed albums of his own, he has also recorded with Martha Reeves, MC Smooth and Freddie Stewart (Sly & The Family Stone); and has performed onstage with Rodney Franklin, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Gerald Albright, Lenny Williams (Tower of Power), Freda Payne, The Dells, and Lowell Fulsom.  He spent years touring extensively while serving as the musical director for The Ballads, Natural Four and Jesse James, and performed on their albums. As a studio musician in Los Angeles, Gregory worked with legendary producer Richard Perry and played sessions with top musicians such as Klaus Voorman (The Beatles), Arthur Adams (B.B. King, Quincy Jones), Harvey Mason (Herbie Hancock, George Benson) and Joe Sample (The Crusaders).

Gentle Warrior is on jazz icon Stanley Clarke’s label, Roxboro Entertainment Group, which is distributed by Bungalo Records division of Universal Music Group. Clarke wisely selected Gregory as one of only four artists to launch his record label. Its tracks are available on iTunes, and other Internet sources.

“I love Lloyd’s style as a musician,” the legendary Stanley Clarke says. “He is a sweet, warm guy, which comes out in his music. His music reminds me of a modern-day Wes Montgomery.”

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