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Guitarist, composer and teacher Nat Janoff, has been working steadily in the contemporary jazz scene for the past 11 years. Born in New Jersey on July 13th 1970, Nat's earliest experience with music started with the piano. Then, he switched to bass. After hearing Eddie Van Halen, Nat had to play guitar. Growing up in the 80's, Nat's musical interests were all things rock and metal and Nat earned a reputation for being one of the best shred guitarist in the area. Nat's transition from metal and rock guitar to jazz occurred when he sought out a platform to improvise for longer than the standard rock riff. That, and hearing Mahavishnu Orchestra's Birds of Fire for the first time. Pursue jazz he did and after earning his Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from William Paterson University in 1996, Nat set to work forging his own musical path.
The first marker on that path was Nat's debut album, Looking Through featuring the rhythm section of world renowned electric bassist, Matthew Garrison and drummer Gene Lake, putting Nat on the map as both a player and a composer.
Any 29 year old that can hang with this duo (Garrison & Lake,) let alone lead the date,has transitively proven himself worthy of attention.
Review of Looking Through by Phil DiPietro for www.allaboutjazz.com(2000)
Two more albums soon followed. Nat's sophomore release was a live acoustic recording with fellow William Paterson alumnus Jake Schwartz simply titled, Live. This album featured original compositions by both Janoff and Schwartz and showcases the acoustic abilities of both guitarists. The most recent recording is one with Rave Tesar (of Annie Haslam's Renaissance on keys and left-hand bass) and Ray LeVier entitled, Berkana. This album explores the jazz influence in the jamband genre of music.
In addition to playing with his own groups, Nat Janoff has performed with the legendary pianist, Norman Simmons and drummer Victor Jones' group, Culturversy. Nat can be heard on Atlantic Records' recording artist Debelah Morgan's cd, Dance With Me and on R&B artist Roland Clark's new track, The Simple Things. Nat teaches private guitar lessons and has been a guest instructor at the annual William Paterson University summer jazz camp.