John Kopecky         A Guitarist for all Seasons


John is a native of San Diego, California and started playing the guitar at age 11. He had his first professional job a year later, playing at a school dance. As a teenager, he had a lot opportunities to play and landed his first full time gig at a local San Diego teen club at age 16. During these early years, John mostly played rock and blues, emulating the classic rock sounds of the day, and practiced like a demon, often four to six hours daily on top of his gigs at night.

The first thing John did with his university diploma when he graduated from UCSD with a BA in Mathematics was to take it along with him on the road working venues in the Midwest in a dance and show band. During this time, John had his hair styled, wore lots of polyester, and was introduced to many standards and show tunes, expanding his understanding of musical theory, arranging, and promoting an interest in musical styles then new to him.

Back in San Diego, John had the opportunity to hear and meet legendary jazz guitarist Joe Pass and began several years of studying jazz guitar on his own, inspired (as were many others) by the virtuousity of Joe Pass. A couple of years later, John took a gig on the road with San Diego based entertainer CC Jones and ended up in Tucson, Arizona for a few years. There he fell in with local jazz musicians, joining the Brotherhood of Jazz, performing straight ahead and Latin jazz. The group was active on the local club scene and opened for touring artists at local concerts, notably Les McCann. When John returned to San Diego he worked a lot of casual dates and was a regular at the jam sessions hosted by blues greats Jimmy and Jeanie Cheatham. He played with the Cheatams often, including a gig backing up the legendary Big Mama Thornton. He later became the guitarist for boogie-woogie pianist Bob Long, a winner of the Scott Joplin Annual Competition, during an extended engagement at Dick’s Last Resort in San Diego and on several dates in Las Vegas. He has played locally with San Diego's own horn section, the Shellton Horns.

John finally decided to follow his father’s advice and learn to play classical guitar, spending several years exclusively to the development of classical guitar technique and repertoire. And although he had played fingerstyle for many years prior, classical guitar gave him the foundation for his solo artistry.

JohnIn 2003, John opened the South Park Bar & Grill in San Diego which provided a venue for many local jazz and blues artists. During his seven years there, he made lots of musical friends and played solo guitar on a regular basis. At the NAMM show in 2004, John met master jazz guitar luthier Robert Benedetto and invited him and his wife Cynthia to dine with him at South Park. Mr. Benedetto put John in contact with his close personal friend, Sandy DeVito, a former student of the legendary Chuck Wayne and a masterful guitarist and teacher. John studied advanced chord techniques and theory for several years with Sandy.

Not long after landing a steady job at Cafe Zucchero in Little Italy in 2010, John met up with guitar virtuoso Jeff Linsky, a pioneer in polyphonic guitar and had the opportunity to study privately with Jeff and perform with him on several occasions. Today, John applies the techniques and musical experiences acquired over a lifetime of playing to the delight of audiences everywhere.

@2015 - John Kopecky