The American Gypsy Jazz Pioneer: JOHN JORGENSON!

Today's Elevenses Throws Eleven Quick Questions At 'The American Gypsy Jazz Pioneer' John Jorgenson!

John Jorgenson is known as one of the pioneers of the American Gypsy Jazz Movement. John is a founding member of the Desert Rose Band, The Hellecasters and a six-year member of Elton John's band. Artists ranging from Barbra Streisand to Bonnie Raitt to Earl Scruggs have sought out John's guitar work. Recently, John was chosen to portray Django Reinhardt in the feature film "Head In The Clouds".

So what’s your drink of choice at 11am in the morning?

Coffee! Always coffee, hopefully organic darkish roasted, freshly ground with full cream. Second choice would be a triple grande breve latte from Starbucks.

Which song/album really made you want to play guitar?

Probably the Beatle’s Day Tripper single, along with Let’s Hang On by the Four Seasons, Mr Tambourine Man by The Byrds, and Fire by Jimi Hendrix.

Who’s the world’s greatest guitarist?

Easy, Django Reinhardt! Or for still living examples, Jeff Beck.

Who’s the world’s most underrated guitarist?

That’s a hard one, as it depends on the age of the raters…Clarence White could use some more mentions.

So what are you up to at the moment?

Recording a CD of compositions for gypsy jazz guitar and orchestra, mostly self and co-composed.

What was the last gig you went to (as a member of the audience)?
Who would be in your dream line-up?

Emmy Lou Harris.

For rock it would be:

  • Vocals - Paul Rodgers
  • Bass - John Paul Jones
  • Keyboards/Vocal - Steve Winwood
  • Drums - Cozy Powell
  • Guitar/Vocals - Steve Marriot
How many guitars do your own and which one is ‘your precious’?

I guess my total is about 150 at the present, I know, that is ridiculous!! My precious one would have to be my 1942 Selmer.

What’s the last great album that you bought (or were given)?

That would have to be a Louis Armstrong career retrospective.

Do you suffer from stage fright?

Not really. I only get nervous if I feel like the audience is judging more than listening and enjoying.

So what’s your favourite tipple at 11pm in the evening?

If I am home, probably water! If I’m out, Ciroc vodka with cranberry juice and lime.