Sten Hostfalt is a leading innovative guitarist and composer working on the New York music scene of today. He performs with some of the most original and unique voices in modern music and has been called 'highly exceptional' by legendary American music icon Jimmy Giuffre and 'virtuosic' by musical innovator Joe Maneri writes distinguished master educator and Berklee College of Music Professor Jon Damian-one of the world's foremost thinkers about guitar, theory and pedagogy, in 'Fresh Music : Explorations with The Creative Workshop Ensemble For Musicians, Artists and Teachers' a document of 40 years with the creative workshop at Berklee where Damians students have included leading Jazz guitarists Bill Frisell, Jeff Parker, Mark Whitfield, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Leni Stern, Wayne Krantz and Lionel Loueke.
Active as a performer, composer and bandleader since the late 70's, Sten Hostfalt's international recognition as a singularly unique and original guitarist, composer and solo performer came with his second album, '29 Pieces For The Microtonal Guitar Live at Knitting Factory New York". A 2002 solo concert recording devoted to a microtonal guitar and electronics program informed by mentor Joe Maneri's Equal-Tempered 72-note system.
Released at the heels of his CD debut as a leader 'Eternity Check' initiated by American avantgarde pioneer Paul Bley, funded by very little except utilizing a creative international artist network, and initially pressed up in just 300 (since long sold out) copies - 29 Microtonal Pieces was considering the independent nature of the release as well as it's unorthodox program, very well-received indeed.
Larry Cosentino of Signal To Noise compared the work to John Cage's 'Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano' and deemed it 'Among the most riveting explorations of the microtonal world ever recorded'. All About Jazz's John Kelman described it as 'An intriguing recording that shows you just how far an instrument can be bent and altered to meet a more experimental and adventurous need and takes you to a place where rules simply don't exist'. And Don Williamson of Jazz Review wrote 'Sten Hostfalt has developed his own repertoire including microtones, A genuinely innovative approach, in the future 29 Pieces for the Microtonal Guitar may be considered a groundbreaking work'.
Describing the music as 'Beyond Rapturous, high density, highly logical in a completely different way and highly recommended' Kenneth Egbert of Jazz Now compared it to John Fahey and Derek Bailey. Guitar Player Magazine's Barry Cleveland listed it next to 'The 21st Century Guide To King Crimson' in his 2005 Rants and Raves column. While Grego Applegate Edwards in his Cadence Magazine review caught the influences from Jimi Hendrix and Captain Beefheart and summed it up as 'Another angle on exploring tone colors that you will not want to miss'
Since the debut CD's, Sten Hostfalt has produced four more-all in all six recordings as a leader, on his own label, operating under the name Sonus Rex. And in the process, through network association enlisted audio engineers Greg Thompson ( They Might be Giants, David Byrne, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Justin Bieber, Korn ) Doug Henderson ( Anthony and The Johnsons, Devendra Banhart, Swans, Sleep, System of a Down ) and Eric Tew ( Super Furry Animals, Ted Leo, Boss Hog, Dixie Chicks, Sheryl Crow, Phife Dawg, Fountains of Wayne) and worked out of some of New York's most influential studios of the millennium-Micro-Moose and Kampo Studios, as well as internationally through artist grants from the Cultural Committee of Sweden to record at
live venue Le Triton, Paris France and at the Swedish Radio studio.
A leader/co-leader of ensembles and projects since the early 1980's, Sten Hostfalt's recordings have featured electric bass guitarist Matthew Garrison (John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Steve Coleman, Josef Zawinul, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan ), trumpet player / keyboardist Takuya Nakamura ( Brazilian Girls, The Streets, Quincy Jones, CoCo Rosie ) drummer Marko Djordjevic and tenor saxophonist Matt Renzi.
His concert performances as a bandleader, called 'Impressive, Intense' and 'Inimitable' by Time Out NY and Paper Magazine respectively, has over the past three decades among others hosted bassists Tim Luntzel ( Norah Jones, Rosanne Cash, Pete Seeger, Neil Sedaka, Lee Ranaldo ), Richard Hammond ( Joan Osborne, Erasure, Angelique Kidjo ), Matt Pavolka, Masa Kamaguchi and Shayna Dulberger, saxophonists Ole Mathisen, Don Houge, Noah Preminger and Seamus Blake, drummers Jimmy Weinstein, Blake Lindberg, Federico Ughi and Cyril Atef ( Cheb Mami, Salif Keita ), vibraphonist Tom Beckham and vocalists Melissa Kassel, Liliana Santon and Constance Cooper.
As an electric bass guitarist Sten Hostfalt has actively participated in / contributed to the development of a new generation in electronica through live concert performances with Collin Palmer, CALMER, sharing events with Praveen, Travis Stewart AKA Machinedrum ( Azealia Banks, Jesse Boykins III ), Theophilus London (Warner Bros Records, Kanye West, Rihanna ), Keith Murray ( DEF Squad ), Addiquit and MOBY. Transferring and sharing this experience to subsequent composing, performing, producing and educational projects.
Through membership of New York's 'Downtown scene' Sten Hostfalt has in addition to the co-lead 'Now Matter' album during the past decade appeared in over 70 duo and / or group concert performances with saxophonist Blaise Siwula and in shared events with Tim Berne, Daniel Carter, Bern Nix, Ray Anderson and Bob Stewart.
Prior to his new millennium focus on work as a leader, Mr. Hostfalt apprenticed in jazz orchestras led by Phil Wilson and Herb Pomeroy ( in one of the very last editions of the legendary Berklee 'Recording Band' that known from the 'Jazz In The Classsroom recordings' since the 50's has featured Branford Marsalis, Joe Zawinul, Toshiko Akiyoshi, John Abercrombie and Quincy Jones ), briefly with George Russell ( in the NEC Big Band ) and as a guitarist and featured soloist on Guillermo Klein's debute CD 'El Minotauro' ( 1994 Beat / 1997 Candid ) in the first edition of Klein's large ensemble 'Big Van', a lineup described as 'unlike any other-one of the better continuing experiments in New York' by the New York Times, noted by All Music Guide for it's 'brilliant soloists' and in retrospect deemed semi-legendary' by Jazz Times Magazine. A creative format through which Hostfalt was introduced on the early 1990's New York Jazz scene alongside leading new generation jazz voices Chris Cheek, Mark Turner, Seamus Blake, Aaron Goldberg, Jeff Ballard and Melvin Butler at Mitch Borden's Jazz Club, Smalls weekly during the inception of the subsequently famed venue.
After departing from Klein's band ( and passing the chair to Kurt Rosenwinkel-featured on the unreleased first 'Los Guachos' album and then in turn to current guitarist, Ben Monder ) in favor for an offer to tour and record in Sweden, Norway and Finland with Swedish Sandviken Big Band, in support for mainstream Jazz artists Rob McConnell, Bobby Shew and Deborah Brown at leading concert halls and venues, and in shared festival events with Ray Brown, James Moody, Phil Woods, Tower of Power, Woody Herman Big Band and Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen.
During the time in Scandinavia he also performed alongside, or in support of leading Scandinavian jazz and popular music artists Katrine Madsen, Marie Bergman, Sharon Dyall, Victoria Tolstoy, Roland Keijser, Lars Erstrand, Roger Pontare, Hector Bingert, Bengt-Arne Wallin, Kjell Öhman, Claes Jansson, Barbro Lill-Babs Svensson, Jan Allan, Svante Thuresson and Nils Lindberg.
Current or recent ( as in past 10 years ) work as a leader and co-leader has included solo concert premier performances of original works at the XXXV Encontre de Compositors festival at Pilar i Joan Miro', Mallorca, Spain (2014) as well as at Symphony Space NYC (2010-1), collaborations with greek dance artist / choreographer Savina Theodorou, in addition to twice in 2014 staging his microtonal 13-piece ensemble, performing the original orchestral work 'Dimensional States' at ShapeShifter Lab New York. Or as the New York Music Daily phrased it - 'A bunch of A-list adventurous Jazz types play Sten Hostfalt's microtonal Dimensional States for Orchestra'.
A US East Coast resident for the better part of the past 30 years and a long-time New Yorker, Sten Hostfalt was born in 1962 in Lulea, Sweden and became a naturalized American citizen by way of late 1980's-early 90's scholarships, honorary awards and degrees from two of the world's foremost institutions in Jazz and modern music-Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory.
Initially self-taught as a guitarist and composer, he studied classical guitar from age 16, had didactic encounters with legendary finger style Blues guitarists Big Joe Williams and Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown and attended a workshop with Jazz piano master Horace Parlan before a period of self-studies led to a Bachelor's Degree from Berklee College of Music, a Master of Music Degree in Composition and a Graduate Diploma in Jazz Performance from New England Conservatory, via studies with Joe Maneri, Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley, Mick Goodrick and George Russell and concert performances with masters of Jazz Gary Burton, Peter Erskine and Clare Fischer.
Subsequent academic work has included being a teaching faculty member at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm (2001-05), lecturing at Berklee College of Music (2006) and in 2010, at the New World School for The Arts, Miami FL, at the University of Florida. Since 2006 he directs his own educational operation NYC Guitar Studio-one of few places (anywhere) to offer systematic microtonal studies on the standard 6-string / 12-fret guitar. Among contributions to many other schools in New York and elsewhere he is also, since 2009 a faculty member of New York Jazz Academy, for which he has appeared in concerts at New York's Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium
All Rights Reserved © 2017 Sonus Rex.