Bruce Mathiske is a virtuoso solo guitarist from Australia. With a dexterous finger span, he plays lead, rhythm, and bass at the same time. The technique gives a solid impression of more than one guitarist playing, and has made him one of Australia's stars of the instrument. He has picked up a pair of Best Guitarist awards in his homeland, as well as numerous other prizes, including one for Best Soloist and another for Best Overall.
The guitarist began music lessons when he was seven years old, while living in the rural area of Swan Hill. At the age of about 15 or 16, he relocated to Bendingo, where he devoted a few years to the specialization of classical guitar. After settling later in Queensland, he became a student of Neville Khan and earned a diploma in sight reading, composition, improvisation, theory, and arranging.
One of Mathiske's major influences is Chet Atkins. He devised a way to blend his growing interest in jazz with Atkins' solo style. He devoted ten hours daily to the practice of his technique for half a dozen years. His solo work reflects a combination of Atkins' influence, his own jazz interests, and his classical studies. Mathiske's other inspirations include B.B. King, Lenny Breau, Barney Kessell, Robin Ford, and Leo Kottke.
He has toured North America, Japan, and Europe. Appearances have included numerous festivals, among them the Cork International Jazz Festival, the Glasgow Jazz Festival, and the London Guitar Festival. In addition, one of his concerts was recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio. ~ Linda Seida