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California Guitar Trio on Wikipedia
California Guitar Trio
California Guitar Trio.jpgCalifornia Guitar Trio live at The B.B. King Blues Club, New York
Background information
GenresInstrumental rock, progressive rock, New Acoustic, new-age, chamber jazz, post-rock
Years active1991–present
LabelsInner Knot Records, Karate Body Records
MembersPaul Richards
Bert Lams
Hideyo Moriya
Notable instruments
steel-string acoustic guitar, classic guitar, tenor guitar, mandocello

California Guitar Trio (CGT) is a band of three guitar players founded in 1991. The three—Paul Richards of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bert Lams of Affligem, Belgium, and Hideyo Moriya of Tokyo, Japan—met at a 1987 Guitar Craft course, in which Robert Fripp instructed them in the New Standard Tuning (NST). After completing several of Fripp's Guitar Craft courses, the three toured as part of Robert Fripp and The League of Crafty Guitarists.[1]

Continuing their collaboration then in Los Angeles, they founded The California Guitar Trio in 1991. They continue to play in the New Standard Tuning.[1] Their performances and recordings include original compositions, surf covers, and classical re-workings of classical music. Their influences include European classical music, rock, blues, jazz, world music, and surf music.

The Trio's music was featured during the television coverage of the 1998[citation needed] and 2000 Olympic Games,[citation needed]. It has been featured on CBS, NBC, CNN WorldBeat, and ESPN TV programs.[citation needed] They performed on the 2003 Grammy Awards-nominated track "Apollo" on Tony Levin's CD Pieces of the Sun.[citation needed] CGT music served as wake-up music for the crew aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour.

The California Guitar Trio performed as an opening act for King Crimson, from which bassist Tony Levin and drummer Pat Mastelotto regularly join the CGT for live shows. CGT has shared the stage with many performancers, including the following: John McLaughlin, David Sylvian, Tito Puente, Leftover Salmon, Taj Mahal, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, Adrian Legg, Adrian Belew, Jon Anderson.

The Trio has released 16 albums: seven studio CDs featuring original CGT songs and a variety of other works spanning numerous genres, four live releases, and a Christmas CD with Christmas music. Lams has also made a solo album of Bach preludes titled Nascent.

In August 2004 they released Whitewater, which was produced by Tony Levin. It features mainly original works of the CGT, offset by a puzzle-work arrangement of a Bach lute suite and a mashup of "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" with The Doors' "Riders on the Storm." This was followed in 2008 by Echoes, an album composed entirely of covers, and 2010's Andromeda, the band's first release to consist entirely of original material. The 2012 release Masterworks is an all classical music compilation featuring music by Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Rossini and Part. Chicago guitar virtuoso Fareed Haque played on Vivaldi's Winter, and Tony Levin played upright bass and cello on four tracks.


  • The California Guitar Trio (1991, not listed in CGT's own discography)
  • Yamanashi Blues (1993)
  • Invitation (1995)
  • Pathways (1998)
  • An Opening Act: Live on Tour with King Crimson (1999)
  • Rocks the West (2000)
  • Monday Night in San Francisco (2000)
  • 10 Christmas Songs (2001)
  • Live at the Key Club (2001)
  • CG3+2 (2002)
  • The First Decade (compilation) (2003)
  • Whitewater (2004)
  • Highlights (compilation) (2007)
  • Echoes (2008)
  • Andromeda (2010)
  • Montreal Guitar Trio + California Guitar Trio Live (2011)
  • Masterworks (2011)
  • Komorebi (2016)


  1. ^ a b Barry (2004)
  • Cleveland, Barry (1 December 2004). "California Guitar Trio (Interview)" (pdf). Frets Magazine (Fall). Guitar Player (subscription required). Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  • Tamm, Eric (2003) [1990], Robert Fripp: From crimson king to crafty master (Progressive Ears ed.), Faber and Faber (1990), ISBN 0-571-16289-4, Zipped Microsoft Word Document, retrieved October 26, 2011 
  • Zwerdling, Daniel (5 September 1998). "California Guitar Trio". All Things Considered (NPR Weekend ed.). Washington DC: National Public Radio. Html transcription (subscription required). Audio recording (free). Retrieved 21 April 2012. 

External links

  • California Guitar Trio home page
  • Official Tony Levin Site

Upcoming Live Shows

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