Greg Lowe was born in Winnipeg Canada on June 30th 1957. He picked up his brother's guitar at age 10 and immediately began creating his own music. Initially inspired by blues and rock musicians he eventually found jazz, and proceeded to Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton to learn the basics of jazz harmony. In 1985 on return from a two week stint studying in New York with guitarists John Scofield, John Abercrombie and Steve Kahn, Lowe put a call into Prakash John, leader of Toronto's premier R&B band The Lincolns, and shortly after began four years of touring coast to coast with many of Toronto's finest players.
Upon returning to Winnipeg in 1990, he began recording his first CD "The Art Of Bending", which lead to the international release of "Greg Lowe" by Jazz Inspiration/MCA in 1993 and "Thrilled Against My Will" by Jazz Inspiration/Allegro in 1996. Jazz Times reviewer Hillarie Grey wrote "making unexpected orchestration seem perfectly natural... Lowe's work is deliberate and clever."
Focusing on composition as much as guitar performance, Lowe's body of work has grown to include large orchestra, chamber ensembles, theatre, television, dance, radio musicals and dramas. He has released seven CDs featuring original music in both electric and acoustic formats.
As guitarist he has performed on numerous occasions with Ron Paley’s Big Band, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
"Guitar and Bass Sessions" released 2007 Duo arrangements and compositions
Composed, Performed, Produced by Greg Lowe:
Theatre orchestra guitarist:
Orchestral Compositions & Performances:
Manitoba Chamber Orchestra recording session August 2012. Featured vocalist Isabel Bayrakdarian. CD release TBA.
Performed Mike Janzen's electric guitar concerto Bending Hendrix at the WSO New Music Festival 2010. Guitar a la Jimi Hendrix and full orchestra. CBC broadcast Canada Live.
Three Pieces for Electric Guitar and String Orchestra. Nauticus, BrandenBach and the RisingMind. Written with the support of the Manitoba Arts Council 2006. Workshop reading with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. (archival recording)
Arranged and performed four Mozart opera pieces for rock combo which were broadcast by CBC radio celebrating Mozarts 250th birthday 2006. Featured vocalists Tracy Dahl singing Queen Of The Night, Monica Huisman on Come Scoglio and Ted Longbottom sings Champaine Aria.
The concerto for electric guitar and orchestra Shadow Play, premiered at the February 2005 festival featuring Lowe on electric guitar. (co-composed by Greg Lowe and Sid Robinovitch, conducted by Andrey Boreyko) CBC broadcast Two New Hours.
Lowe's orchestra work Big Mossy was commissioned and recorded by the CBC in 2000, and can be sampled at www.greglowe.com.
Concerto for Violin and Guitar was commissioned through the Canada Council by the St. Norbert Cultural Centre and premiered at the summer festival in 1999 featuring members of the WSO with Gwen Hoebig and Lowe as featured soloists.
Bach's D minor Double Concerto performed on electric guitars by Greg Lowe and Murray Pulver with string chamber orchestra. Glenn Buhr curator, St Norbert Arts and Cultural Centre 1998.
Lowe's electric guitar concerto Drastic Measures was written and premiered at the WSO NewMusic Festival 1997 with Bramwell Tovey conducting. CBC broadcast Two New Hours.
Four Quartets for Piano, Violin, Cello and Guitar written and recorded in 1996 with the support of the Manitoba Arts Council.
Violin and guitar duet Seventh Heaven was premiered at the New Music Festival in January 1995 with WSO Concertmaster Gwen Hoebig, and recorded by the CBC. Manitoba Arts Council.
January 1994 Greg Lowe's first symphonic work Pressing Time performed by the WSO. CBC broadcast Two New Hours. Conducted by Glenn Buhr.
As well as performing his own works at the WSO New Music Festival, Lowe has enjoyed performing on many other pieces. Some favourites include Harry Freedman's Bright Angels (with vocalist Valdine Anderson), Schnittke's Seid Nüchtern und Wachet (better known as the Faust Cantata), Louise Andriessen 'De Staat", Brett Dean's Game Over and many more.
He performed heavy metal guitar for the premier performance of Mike Maguire's piece "Got That Crazy Latin Metal Feelin'" with the Vancouver New Music Orchestra at the Playhouse theatre in Vancouver on March 29th 2003.
Lowe has scored 23 radio dramas for CBC producer Tom Anniko with writers David Arneissen, Sandra Birdsell, Jake Macdonald, Nancy Botkin and others. The most recent production is a one act musical comedy "Tuppence Comeuppance" written by Al Rae 2008. This piece is based on the life of Conrad Black and features Ken Welsh as Conrad Black, Sheila McCarthy as Wanda, John Catucci as Heckler, Patrick McKenna as Max and Richard Waugh as the Manager / Delivery Man. Produced by Tom Anniko and Tracy Rideout.
Film and television composed and produced by Greg Lowe:
From 1986 - '90 Lowe performed and toured throughout Canada with the Toronto R&B band The Lincolns as guitarist and bass vocalist. One of the first gigs with the group was the closing celebration of Expo '86 at the coliseum in Vancouver. The group shared billing with bands like The Powder Blues Band, The Downchild Blues Band, The Beach Boys and Meatloaf in clubs from Halifax to Vancouver.
In 2003 Greg Lowe and Jack Semple (former Lincoln bandmates) debuted their new duo The Chess Club, premiering acoustic material they have composed with the support of the Canada Arts Council. The CD "Wake Up Time" was released in the spring.
The trio SwingSoniq, a collaboration with Greg Leskiw and Danny Koulak, released it's CD "Moonglow" in '99, and the next year performed a national Jazz Festival tour of 7 cities including Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
In the fall of '97 he composed and performed with Vancouver guitarist Ron Samworth in a solo and duo electroacoustic concert for the Guitar Evolution Festival in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg. The commissions and tour where sponsored by the Canada Council and the Toronto concert was broadcast by CBC's Two New Hours. The tour was produced by guitarist Tim Bradey.
Guitar and Bass Sessions quotes
Ross Porter, President and CEO Jazz.FM91 Toronto "Well done. Love it! Outstanding! It is a crowning achievement in what has already been a marvelous career. An imaginative, innovative release that helps redefine standards."
Winnipeg Free Press , Chris Smith "...Guitarist Lowe turns his jazzy touch to a disparate bunch of tunes from the pens of Roger Miller (King of the Road) to Carole King (I Feel the Earth Move) to George Harrison (Something) and four of his own compositions. He performs seven tunes with bassist Steve Kirby; the other six with Gilles Fournier and the guitarist is at his deft-fingered best, especially on Willie Nelson's Crazy, where he pulls the Lenny Breau feat of making a country classic sound oh, so un-country. Lowe sounds great with just the bass accompaniment; it's a rare chance to hear the intricacies of his playing."
Life So Far quotes (So Far...)
Winnipeg Free Press, Chris Smith "...knows his way around a fretboard... Lowe can be an amazing guitarist, burning up the strings on one cut and playing a beautiful acoustic tribute to his parents on Golden Anniverary Waltz...more contemporary than straight-ahead jazz, but really it's just a good guitar album."
Winnipeg Sun, Darryl Sterdan "...(Lowe) applies his precise tone and impeccably graceful execution to 10 origionals geared for late-night listening with a glass of wine in hand and a loved one in arms...Lowe's flawless playing is definitely the stuff of life. So far, so good."
Jazziz "...Not only is he from Canada, a country that's far from a jazz hotbed-even with Toronto and Montreal's thriving scenes- but he's from the midwestern city of Winnipeg...the primary emphasis is on streamlined playing. Instrumentals like the opening "Lowdown" reveal the influence of Larry Carlton and Pat Martino. The track "Every Dog Has Its Day" is featured on the Jazziz March issue CD. " www.jazziz.com
Thrilled Against My Will quotes
Jazz Times, Hilarie Grey "...making unexpected orchestrations seem perfectly natural...Lowe's work is deliberate and clever."
Vancouver Sun, Marke Andrews "...Lowe's playing is sure and creative."
Winnipeg Free Press, Chris Smith "The disc,.. is Lowe's third and it is good, very good."
The Toronto Star, Entertainment Arts "...The Guitarist assembles an army of jazz musicians, singers and classical players for 11 original tunes with strong melodies and radio friendly excursions into latin and funk."