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Klugh, Earl (16th September 1953-Present)

He is a guitarist, pianist, songwriter and composer, whose name is pronounced “Clue”, born in Detroit, Michigan.

He began playing the piano while young and the guitar in December 1963 and when he was thirteen he saw Chet Atkins performing on the Perry Como Show.  From then on Chet Atkins would be his biggest influence, although he had several others such as Laurindo Almeida, and they both later guested on each other’s recordings.

Just two years later, when he was fifteen, after being largely self-taught with just a year of lessons, he started teaching guitar and got noticed by the jazz musician Yusef Lateef.  Soon he found himself working with many recognised jazz artists and also as a touring member of George Benson’s band and Chick Corea’s Return to Forever.

Beginning to gain a lot of attention he was signed by Blue Notes Records in 1976.  He began releasing albums, often in collaboration with the keyboardist Bob James and they received a Grammy Award for their 1979 One on One.  He has gone on to make numerous recordings since then either as a solo artist, guest musician or with his Earl Klugh Trio that is made up of him, the drummer Gene Dunlap and the bassist Ralph Armstrong.

Some of the other artists he has worked with through the years include Patti Austin, Stephen Bishop, Miles Davis, The Dramatics, Kenny G, Steve Gadd, Dave Grusin, Kenny Loggins, Ralph MacDonald, David Matthews, Brenda Russell, Lee Ritenour, George Shearing and Stevie Wonder.  His songwriting and compositions, which he writes using the piano as well the guitar, are also much in demand with his music having being recorded by singers and musicians such as Mary J. Blige and Aretha Franklin and on the films How To Beat the High Cost of Living, Just Between Friends and Marvin and Tige.  A multi-Grammy Award winner, he has released at least 30 of his own albums such as Crazy For You, Dream Come True, Finger Painting, Heart String, Late Night Guitar, Magic in Your Eyes, Naked Guitar, Soda Fountain Shuffle, Sudden Burst of Energy and Wishful Thinking as well as Collaboration with George Benson.  Other albums include Sails and Stay Tuned by Chet Atkins, Compositions by Anita Baker, Body Talk, GB, Guitar & Bass, Livin’ Inside Your Love, Trios and White Rabbit by George Benson, No Particular Harbor by Jimmy Buffett, Oasis by Robert Flack, All Around the Town by Bob James, This Time by Al Jarreau, Blue Note Meets the L.A. Philharmonic by the Los Angeles Philharmonic & Bobby Hutcherson and Stay With Me Tonight by Jeffrey Osborne.

Today he is still found recording at his home studio and touring on an international level.

Here he is on guitar performing “This Time”…