Hertzog Releases Album 'Stringscapes: A Portrait of the World in Nyon and Steel'

Jake Hertzog in Studio
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Jake Hertzog in Studio

Jake Hertzog, University of Arkansas guitar professor and composer, released his newest album entitled "Stringscapes: A Portrait of the World in Nylon and Steel" on Oct. 16. The album features four suites composed of three movements each that were inspired by the earth's landscapes, including the forest, arctic, oceans and desert.

Although Hertzog has not started touring for "Stingscapes: A Portrait of the World in Nylon and Steel," he will perform pieces from his previous solo album "Well Lit Shadow" at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, at Fenix Fayetteville as part of their Sonic Images series (16 W. Center Street, Fayetteville).

For the latest album, Hertzog collaborated with classical guitarist Yishai Fisher to form a unique duo guitar ensemble that uses a combination of both steel and nylon string guitars. "We were able to bridge different instruments and different traditions, expanding the pallet of what the album could be," Hertzog said. In addition to this seldom-used combination, Hertzog also exclusively utilized both composed and improvised music throughout the album.

Duane Verh from Jazz Blues Magazine described it as a "continuous feast of fluidity and structural evolution, each partner exploring harmonic, textural and counter-rhythmic options."

The album was chronicled in two phases, as half of the pieces were recorded in 2016 and the other half was recorded in 2017. After recording, Hertzog joined Fretmonkey Records, an all-guitar record label based in Conway, Arkansas that hosts over 20 critically acclaimed artists from all over the world. Hertzog said the duo, "fit their label in terms of a 'progressive' guitar sound."

Hertzog and Fisher have already received the Award for Classical Composition for their work on "Stringscapes: A Portrait of the World in Nylon and Steel" and the Arkansas Arts Council awarded Hertzog the 2018 Arkansas Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship.

Hertzog hopes to promote the new album early next year at several festivals around the country. Hertzog also hopes to return to writing jazz, but wants to continue to experiment with hybrids of improvised and composed music with new instrumentations.

ABOUT JAKE HERTZOG

Jake Hertzog is a critically acclaimed guitarist, composer and educator whose career to-date has spanned nine albums as bandleader across jazz, rock and classical new music styles. He has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and India and performed and recorded with a diverse cadre of artists including Randy Brecker, Ivan Neville, Mike Clarke, Blondie Chaplin, Anton Fig, Corey Glover, Barry Altschul, Dave Leibman, Ingrid Jensen and many others.

Hertzog's many projects have included the Jake Hertzog Trio with Harvie S and Victor Jones — a jazz/rock group that has released five albums to wide acclaim and radio success and headlined venues such as The Blue Note in New York and Salo Jazz Festival in Finland.

An active music educator, in 2016 Jake joined the music faculty at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. In 2018 Jake authored his first book, Guitar Sound Effects published by Hal Leonard, a deep dive into the world of contemporary guitar sounds and techniques. Under the alias Hey Jazz Guy, Jake has contributed over 30 articles to Guitar Player magazine's 'Lessons' section. Guitar Player has coined him the "Jazz ambassador to the non-jazz world". Readers can visit the Official Hey Jazz Guy website for articles and tutorial videos. Past master classes and clinics include Jazz at Lincoln Center, CUNY, Jazztravaganza at the Clarion Performing Arts Center in Lake Jackson, Texas, Turku Conservatory in Finland, EMU Conservatory in Argentina, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA., Women In Jazz in Halle, Germany and a faculty position at the Swarnhaboomi Academy of Music in Chennai, India.

Hertzog's classical recording include "Well Lit Shadow" (2016) a suite for solo electric guitar celebrating themes and images in particle physics. His latest project, a guitar duo with classical virtuoso Yishai Fisher called "Stringscapes: A Portrait of the World in Nylon and Steel" (2018, Fretmonkey) is a unique combination of nylon string and steel string guitars and is inspired by the landscapes of planet earth. He was awarded a fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council in 2018 for music composition for this project.

Jake was co-leader and co-songwriter of the rock band The Young Presidents with bassist Mitch Kaneff from 2009-2016. In 2016 their third album, Firehorse, debuted to wide radio success. In 2014 The Young Presidents collaborated with brilliant Grammy winning producer Rob Fraboni on a guest vocalist album called Coalition. The record featured such legendary talent as Ivan Neville, Corey Glover (Living Colour), Blondie Chaplin (The Rolling Stones, Beach Boys), and Anton Fig (Drummer for the Letterman Show) and members of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Orchestras. The Young Presidents also produced a short documentary on the making of the project entitled "Building The Coalition" that premiered at New York's VisionFest Film Festival in June 2013. 

For three years, Jake stood as musical director and lead guitarist for Nickelodeon's The Naked Brothers Band stars, Nat and Alex Wolff. They concluded two national tours and have performed on national television shows including Good Morning AmericaThe ViewNickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards and The Today Show.

An active music educator, in 2016 Jake joined the music faculty at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Recent master classes and clinics include Jazz at Lincoln Center, CUNY, Jazztravaganza at the Clarion Performing Arts Center in Lake Jackson, Texas, Turku Conservatory in Finland, EMU Conservatory in Argentina, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA., Women In Jazz in Halle, Germany and a faculty position at the Swarnhaboomi Academy of Music in Chennai, India. Under the alias Hey Jazz Guy, Jake contributed over 30 articles to Guitar Player magazine's 'Lessons' section. Guitar Player has coined him the "Jazz ambassador to the non-jazz world". Readers can visit the Official Hey Jazz Guy website for articles and tutorial videos.

Hertzog is a grand prize winner of the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition, holds a performance degree from Berklee College of Music and a master's degree from The Manhattan School of Music in New York.

Contacts

Justin R. Hunter, instructor
Department of Music
479-575-4908, jrhunte@uark.edu

Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-4393, liwag@uark.edu

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