Guitarist David Gilmore has recorded and performed with some of the most highly influential and innovative artists in modern music today, including Wayne Shorter, Dave Douglas, Muhal Richard Abrams, Sam Rivers, Steve Coleman, Don Byron, Cassandra Wilson, Uri Caine, Randy Brecker, and David Sanborn. He has appeared on more than 50 recordings and been a major presence on the international touring scene. In the spring of 2001 he released his first recording as a leader, Ritualism, which received major international critical appraise and was nominated for Debut CD of the Year in 2001 by the Jazz Journalists Association. Gilmore was recently voted into the Rising Stars category in the Down Beat Critic's Poll. His playing, which incorporates many non-Western approaches, has been compared to guitarists with styles as diverse as George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Jimi Hendrix, and Leo Nocentelli.
"To me, jazz music is a way of life and a way of thinking. It's about exploration, trying something new, discovering more about yourself, about music, about life in general. So I hope that when I teach it opens people's minds up to exploring different alternatives, not just trying to sound like someone else. That's good to study at first, but you have to find your own individuality and not be afraid to express that."
"Berklee has been a mecca for guitar players over the years. My first guitar teacher ever, John Baboian, still teaches here. I was fortunate in high school to have him as a private teacher. He came from the Berklee method—the William G. Leavitt method—which was really comprehensive. Later on, when I looked at other guitar books, I saw how unusable they were in a certain way. They dealt with tablature, not with notes. Piano players, horn players—most musicians—deal with notes on a staff. But a lot of recent guitar books are devoid of that. I've seen a lot of guitar players who can't even read music. They read tablature and they read other symbols, but not actual written note music. In a typical studio situation you're not going to find your part written in tablature."
"Many other great teachers are here, too. Randy Roos, Mick Goodrick, Tim Miller, and more modern players like Dave Tronzo, Dave Fiuczynski. Berklee brings all these divergent styles together, and students can pick and choose between different approaches. I wish I had come here!"