Kara Gordon Bio

Kara Gordon is called all sorts of things at his gigs, a Maori gypsy, the white Hendrix, a musical genius, part man - part guitar, a mystic playing straight from his soul.

Joe Satriani; "One of the most prolific young players I've ever seen.

One thing is for sure - the man can play. In the process of learning to play Kara has traversed the globe seeking out guitar greats to learn from, fueled by his ability to master different musical genres from jazz, to blues, classical to hard rock. This rare multi-vernacular ability has shaped his distinct signature sound. Kara Gordon; "I love the energy of rock, the precision of Neo-classical metal and the feel and roots of blues and Jazz, I'm always pushing techniques and barriers, fusing old school and modern techniques to shape my own voice" GAANZ; "With an explosive yet sensitive style". Kara's spine tingling feel has been nourished by his quest to be open to and learn from all musical experiences. His journey has taken him from busking street corners in New York to immersion in flamenco and rasiguado in a hut in Spain where guitar was the only common language,to swinging in the shadow of Django Rhineheart touring France with the Hot Club, to opening for Ozzie Osbourne to a stadium crowd showcasing his heavy rock shredding. Kara Gordon; "The lowest moment was being so poor that I could only afford one meal a day, that's when I bumped into Reggie Houston. I was busking on the streets of New York - he said "Can you play any jazz son?" So I did, and he invited me onto the New Orleans Jazz orchestra and I was eating properly again and playing to huge jazz festival audiences" Kara returned to New Zealand in his early 20s, and established himself as a regular on the Auckland music scene. Recently his guitar skills have been sought out by the international music scene and he has been selected to open at the rock legend packed Rock2Wellington concert and to feature at the upcoming international guitar virtuoso extravaganza - GTaranaki.

In January 2008 Kara was hand-picked through a national guitarist competition to open the massive Easter 'Rock2Wgtn' festival upfront of Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Whitesnake, Alice Cooper and Poison. Out of hundreds of entries and after a live judging, Kara was placed in the lead spot. Kara performed before 30,000 people at Westpac stadium and met and jammed with Doug Aldridge (White Snake lead guitarist), CC Deville (lead guitars for poison), Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Tommy Thayer (Kiss) and Zakk Wylde (lead guitarist of Ozzie Osbourne).

On the judging panel for the Rock2Wellington, world renowned rock and heavy metal expert Garry-Sharpe Young, recognized Kara's brilliance and singled him out to perform in GTaranaki, New Zealand's first international guitar festival opening July 14th. At GTaranaki Kara has been playing lead guitar with international star Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple and alongside some of the worlds greatest guitar virtuosos, Joe Satriani, Uli Jon Roth (the scorpions), Vernon Reid (living colour), Gilby Clarke(Guns n Roses/Rockstar Supernova), Alex Sholnick (Testament) and Tim Donahue (international harp guitar artist). Garry Sharp; "Kara's playing style is stunning to behold, a mix of dazzling virtuosity, impassioned emotion and hummingbird accuracy. For the G-Taranaki event, Kara has been especially invited to perform alongside the legendary Glenn Hughes, a first for a Kiwi musician" As part of his involvement with GTaranaki Kara is deeply honored to be a guest for Uli Jon Roth's Sky Academy, joining some of his biggest heroes who have guested with Uli Jon Roth such as Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Angelo Batio and Johnny Hiland to name a few.

The beginnings, The signs of the gift which was to become a life focus came early for Kara. As a toddler he was fooling around with a toy ukulele and played a tune, soon after this toy became his biggest interest and a growing obsession.

By 10, Kara was practicing 4 hours a day and teaching himself to play the style of his heroes who were introduced to him by his Father Malcolm and brother Joe; Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore and Stevie Ray Vaughn.   Kara Gordon; "When I saw Jimi Hendrix playing Monteray, which my brother Joe put on when I was six or seven, I thought - I want to be like that guy'" In his early teens he was expanding his rock vocabulary and techniques by learning the styles of Eddie Van Halen Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Joe Satriani and Paul Gilbert and soon after he was interested in a more sophisticated harmony in the styles of jazz and fusion improvisation and touches of Flamenco guitar which led him to studying the guitar styles of Scott Henderson, Mike Stern, John Scofield, John Mclaughlin and Al Di Meola.

At 17 he was already an experienced performer and holder of the New Zealand Guitar Association open guitar competition title. At the urging of Doctor Martine Taylor, Kara sent an audition video in to the prestigious Berklee College of music in Boston Massachusetts. The tape was a transcription of John Coltranes 'Giant Steps' and Thelonious Monks 'Before Midnight', two of the most harmonically challenging tunes in jazz, with all solos transcribed and performed on guitar. It was addressed to Professor Mick Goodrick from Berklee College of music. Kara Gordon; on Giant steps from John Coltraine "With each note it's a different chord change; then each note in the melody is a different chord change; then improvising through is 15 chord changes. It gave me hell to transcribe but it's what got me in to Berklee"   Subsequently Kara was accepted out of 30,000 applicants worldwide and Professor Goodrick flew to New Zealand to personally congratulate and welcome him to Berklee. Four years later Kara graduated with a Masters in Guitar Performance, jazz and contemporary guitar improvisation and Composition and arrangement in jazz and contemporary orchestration. Berklee requirements meant that Kara had played and toured extensively in the world of professional musicians in the States, and on his return to New Zealand states Kara Gordon only in his early 20s was touring New Zealand startling New Zealand ears with his dazzling technical skills.

Through jamming/meeting with masters such as Ron La Pread (bassist from the Commodores), Ben Harper (USA's international recording star), Joe Satriani (Guitar hero "surfing with the alien") Tommy Emmanuel (one of Australia's greatest acoustic guitarists and one of 5 C.G.P Certified Guitar Players in the world) Kara absorbed techniques and approaches and continuously learning and refining his own style.

Kara's goal is to become one of the worlds greatest guitar players, with a unique voice and style of his own mixing the warm vintage sounds of Hendrix, Page, Beck and Blackmore and fusing them with the modern techniques of Gilbert, Satriani and Petrucci with a good measure of blues feeling and harmonic jazz sophistication.   Kara Gordon; "I've devoted my life to playing guitar. I like the freedom to focus my energy on improving what I do as a player, writer, singer and musician"

Now Kara is recording his 2nd CD having been offered a recording deal.