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With a whirlwind of instrumental styles fusing classical, rock, blues, jazz, world music, progressive, as well as the quintessential California musical genre surf music, the California Guitar Trio’s stunning virtuosity and sly sense of humor have earned them an enthusiastic following and wide notoriety, with significant crossover in the progressive, acoustic and classical music scenes.
Notably, CGT music was featured on the television coverage of the 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004 Olympics, and also on CBS, NBC, CNN, and ESPN TV programs. The CGT performed on the 2003 Grammy Awards nominated track Apollo on Tony Levin‘s CD Pieces of the Sun; and CGT music was sent into outer space as wake up music for the crew aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavor. Over the past 14 years of nearly incessant touring, the California Guitar Trio has shared the stage with superb musicians and performers such as: King Crimson, Jon Anderson, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Tito Puente, Taj Mahal, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, Dark Star Orchestra, Leftover Salmon, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, David Sylvian, Adrian Legg, Kaki King and many more. Paul Richards of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bert Lams of Brussels, Belgium, and Hideyo Moriya of Tokyo first met in England at one of Robert Fripp‘s Guitar Craft Courses in 1987. After completing several of these intensive courses, the three toured worldwide with Fripp’s League of Crafty Guitarists. Wanting to continue working together after the League had run its course, Bert, Paul and Hideyo convened in Los Angeles and founded The California Guitar Trio in 1991, honing their intricate original compositions, surf covers, and classical re-workings.
Since their inception in 1991, the Trio has released 12 CDs: six studio CDs featuring original works from the CGT and a variety of classics such as Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue” and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Four live releases that show the trio at their best onstage, and a Christmas CD with familiar and not-so familiar Christmas music, which continues to receive rave reviews.
The new California Guitar Trio CD Echoes (©2008 Pepa Paldo Music) features arrangements of an eclectic variety of CGT favorites, as well as a never before released studio version of Bohemian Rhapsody. Guests appearances include Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Tom Griesgraber, Jamie Masefield, Pamelia Kursten, Tyler Trotter (CGT’s sound engineer who produced the record) & more. In February of 2007, the CGT released Highlights, a brilliant musical anthology that showcases a career’s worth of flow and versatility. Each piece resonates with it’s own story, and each story contributes to the CGT’s 15-year journey of creative exploration, collaboration, and commitment to their craft.
While growing up in Utah, Paul Richards was greatly influenced by the musical interests of his older brothers. His early interest in rock and blues quickly broadened to include jazz, classical, progressive, acoustic, world music and more. At age 21, he traveled to England to attend the extended Robert Fripp Guitar Craft courses where he soon met Bert Lams and Hideyo Moriya. After several years of living in England, Los Angeles, and Argentina, Paul now resides in Salt Lake City. Born and raised near Brussels, Belgium, Bert Lams is a graduate of the prestigious Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels. Originally a rock guitarist, he has extensively studied and taught classical guitar — and possesses a particular affinity for J.S. Bach and music influenced by the American Old West. Over the past 16 years, Lams has resided mainly in Los Angeles, and also spent several years in Wiltshire England and Santa Fe New Mexico, and has recently relocated to Pennsylvania. A native of Tokyo, Japan, Hideyo Moriya began playing guitar at age 12 by emulating the Ventures’ 1960s-vintage surf guitar style, and his favorite English rock bands. He came to America in 1982 to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and by the mid-1980s had enlisted in Robert Fripp’s Guitar Craft courses. When not touring the world with the CGT, Moriya resides in his Tokyo hometown.