As a versatile guitarist, Jason Riley’s professional experience includes recording, composing, teaching and performing in multiple styles. His education in classical guitar and commercial music included extended study in American styles, the Jazz idiom and improvisation.
As a recording artist, Jason has produced and released four solo CDs, Notes to Self (a compilation of original compositions) , Outtakes (original arrangements of traditional works), Spirit of Things (traditional American spirituals), and Funky Folk (familiar folk melodies and some quiet-time classical). An equally successful and dedicated sideman, his playing has been featured extensively on many albums by other artists.
Riley’s uniquely personal playing style, an improvisation-based approach utilizing “live” looping and tongue-in-cheek technical and technological effects, is demonstrated through his humble stage presence, acclaimed work with acoustic and electric instruments and heart-felt tributes to his many musical influences. His versatility of style, mood and character is seemingly unlimited: he can play soft and subtle, frantic and aggressive, he can swing, he can rock, he can play unaccompanied, with other guitarists or with symphony orchestra. His work on stage not only reflects his understanding of classical form and balance, but shows a highly original combination of this classical/rock/jazz background that very few guitarists can successfully execute in live performance.
Jason has won competitions and reader’s polls in both the rock and country genres and has opened for and performed with national and international artists. He has also made numerous radio and television appearances. When not on tour, Jason serves as adjunct professor of guitar at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS and Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph, MO. He has also served as co-director at the Festival Chartres – an international guitar festival in Chartres, France.