WUSF All Night Jazz Focus Artist of the Week: Dave Stryker

Dave Stryker at HCC Ybor Main Stage Theater, Tampa Fla. Jan., 2018. Produced by Tampa Jazz Club. Photo: Steve Splane/WUSF.

All this week on All Night Jazz we’ll jam with guitarist Dave Stryker. Born March 30, 1957, in Omaha, Nebraska, Stryker was initially inspired by the music of the Beatles but became a jazz guitarist after listening to John Coltrane’s version of “My Favorite Things” and hearing fellow guitarist, George Benson.

Stryker first came to prominence as the touring guitarist for organist Jack McDuff in 1984 and 1985 (post George Benson), but it was a 10-year stint with saxophone standout Stanley Turrentine that cemented his reputation as a hard-driving, soulful guitar stylist. Stryker co-led a band with saxophonist Steve Slagle for nearly 10 years and recorded with the late singer Kevin Mahogany among many others.

Stryker’s series of “Eight Track” sessions, four recordings inspired by music he grew up listening to on an eight-track player in his shag carpet-lined, GMC van in the ‘70s, have all gone Top Ten on the JazzWeek chart. He currently teaches at the prestigious Indiana University as well as at Montclair State University.

The Village Voice calls him “one of the most distinctive guitarists to come along in recent years,” and guitar great Pat Metheny says his sound is “one of the most joyous feels around.”

We’ll hear the guitar of Dave Stryker all week long on All Night Jazz.