Sean McGowan is a fingerstyle jazz guitarist who combines many diverse musical influences with unconventional techniques to create a broad palette of textures within his compositions and arrangements for solo guitar. His first recording River Coffee won the Best Independent Release of the Year Award from Acoustic Guitar magazine and music from the recording has been published in Japan’s Acoustic Guitar magazine and Mel Bay’s Master Anthology of Fingerstyle Guitar, Vol. 3. His subsequent recordings Indigo and Sphere: the Music of Thelonious Monk offer compelling portraits of classic jazz standards performed on solo electric archtop guitar. Sphere was named one of Acoustic Guitar magazine’s “Essential Albums of 2011”, and Sean was featured on the covers of Fingerstyle 360 and Just Jazz Guitar magazines. His most recent recordings include Thanksgiving & Christmas Tidings, a collection of seasonal hymns and carols arranged for solo acoustic guitar, and My Fair Lady, featuring music from the classic Lerner & Loewe masterpiece arranged for solo jazz guitar.
As a soloist, Sean has performed at several festivals including the Novi Sad International Jazz Festival in Serbia, the Healdsburg Guitar Festival in Napa Valley, Copper Mountain Guitar Town, the Newport Guitar Festival, and the Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration. He has also collaborated with several dance and improv companies, as well as with jazz and acoustic musicians throughout the Rocky Mountain region.
Sean is an avid arts educator and currently serves as an Associate Professor of Music and the Guitar Program Director at the University of Colorado Denver. He earned a DMA in Guitar Performance from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and has conducted workshops at colleges throughout the country. Sean is a strong advocate for injury prevention and health education for musicians, and his workshops incorporate a holistic approach to playing. He is also a contributing editor and educational advisor for Acoustic Guitar and Fingerstyle Guitar Journal magazines. He is the author of the String Letter book/DVD instructional projects Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Essentials and Holiday Songs for Fingerstyle Guitar.