Roy Guzman Quintet to Perform at George Wein's Jazz Festival 55 on August 9

Nick Balkin
July 16, 2009
Michael Sachs, saxophone; Mark Whitfield Jr., drums; Roy Guzman, guitar; Greg Chaplin, bass; and Billy Buss, trumpet.
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

The Roy Guzman Quintet, from Berklee College of Music, will perform at George Wein's Jazz Festival 55 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island, on Sunday, August 9. Guzman, a gifted young guitarist, was mentored by Berklee's renowned jazz faculty member, alumnus, and MacArthur Fellowship recipient Miguel Zenón (who performs at Fort Adams on August 8). The quintet, which was also chosen to play the 2009 Duke Ellington and Monterey Jazz festivals, includes Billy Buss (trumpet), Mark Whitfield Jr. (drums), Michael Sachs (saxophone), and Greg Chaplin (bass). Their sound has been compared to the guitar/horn bands coled by Kurt Rosenwinkel and Mark Turner, and the knotty, searching sound of the Paul Motian/Bill Frisell/Joe Lovano trio. 

Guitarist and composer Roy Guzman is a 21-year-old guitarist and composer from Cupey, Puerto Rico. He is the recipient of the Billboard Magazine Endowed Scholarship, presented each year to Berklee's most promising musician headed into his/her final year at the college. He is also the recipient of the Jimi Hendrix Award, presented to the college's top guitarist (at any one time, there are more than 1,000 guitar principals at Berklee). Guzman began playing popular Latin guitar at 8, followed by studies of classical guitar in the conservatory. Since he was 16, he has been a part of the growing jazz scene in San Juan.

Guzman has performed on two CDs with his previous group, Orbits Quintet, 12-6-5 (fall 2005) and Desahogo (October 2008). Other performances include the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest, Carolina Jazz Fest, and Xalapa Jazz Fest. Guzman has been attending Berklee thanks to a scholarship received at the Berklee in Puerto Rico Summer Program. His teachers include Hal Crook, Mick Goodrick, Tim Miller, Dave Santoro, Dave Tronzo, and Greg Osby. 

George Wein's Jazz Festival 55 kicks off August 7 at 8:00 p.m. with Chaka Khan and the George Duke Trio at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino. On August 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Fort Adams, the line-up includes sets featuring Mos Def, Branford Marsalis Quartet, Joshua Redman Double Trio, Esperanza Spalding, Hiromi's SonicBloom, Vandermark 5, Christian McBride, Miguel Zenón Quartet and others at Fort Adams. On August 9, the Roy Guzman Quintet joins Tony Bennett, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band, Michel Camilo, Joe Lovano UsFive, Ernest Ranglin, Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band, Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition, and others. 

Tickets are available online at and by phone at 800 514-3849. General admission tickets (single-day passes only) can be purchased in person at the Visitor's Center at the Newport County Convention Center and Visitor's Bureau at 23 America's Cup Avenue. For general information, craft vendor information, or to leave a message for festival staff, call the festival hotline at 401 848-5055.