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John Covach (guitar, vocals)

John

A native of suburban Detroit, John Covach began playing guitar in local rock bands at age 12. His earliest musical influences were The Beatles, Grand Funk, Deep Purple, and Yes. During high school, John played in the Detroit-area band Jester, a group that performed 70s progressive rock by Yes, Genesis, and ELP, as well as original music. One of Johnís early guitar teachers stressed the importance in being able to play fluently in a wide range of styles, so Johnís influences range from Andres Segovia and Julian Bream to Barney Kessel and George Benson to Steve Howe and Brian Setzer.

Primarily self taught as a pop guitarist, John studied classical guitar with Jack Moncrief and Matthew Mischakoff, with frequent master classes with Robert Guthrie, Manuel Lopez-Ramos, Michael Lorimer, Juan Mercadal, David Russell, and John Holmquist. As a student at the University of Michigan School of Music, he studied composition with Steve Rouse, George Balch Wilson, William Bolcom, and Fred Lerdahl. During his years of academic music study at Michigan, John remained active as a performer of both rock and classical music, performing works by composers such as George Crumb and Pierre Boulez with Michigan's Contemporary Directions Ensemble while working regularly with top bands in the Metro Detroit area.

As Professor of Music at the University of Rochester and the Eastman School of Music., John is considered an expert in the history of twelve-tone music, as well as in the history and analysis of rock music, and he has published a long list of articles and book chapters on these topics. His highly successful university-level textbook on the history of rock music was published in March 2006 by W.W. Norton and Company. As a rock historian, John has lectured across the US and in Europe, and has been the focus of feature stories in newspapers and magazines, as well as on radio and television.

John Covach has performed widely on electric and classical guitar in both the US and Europe over the past two decades, including a performance with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at New York's famous Carnegie Hall. His other bands and projects currently include progressive rockers Land of Chocolate, the Rochester-based 60s band The Smooth Talkers, and the Pink Floyd tribute band, Heroes for Ghosts.



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