The Ghana National Music Festival
Award winning guitarist Jordan Taylor was born in Pensacola, Florida. At the age of 1 his family moved to Ghana, West Africa to be missionaries to the Ghanaian people. While in Ghana, Jordan's love for music grew as he began studies in piano at the age of 10. At 15 he was teaching himself guitar on his dad's steel string. In 2006, Jordan and his family moved to Houston, TX where, in January of 2009, he started his classical guitar studies with acclaimed guitarist Valerie Hartzell.
He has performed in master classes or had private lessons with such names as David Russell, Eliot Fisk, Jason Vieaux, Ronn McFarlane, Adam Holzman, and Pepe Romero among others. Jordan is a four time prize winner of the Classical Minds International Guitar Institute and Competition as well as prize winner at The Music Academy of North Carolina Guitar Festival and Competition and the University of Southern Mississippi Guitar Competition and finalist at the Southern Guitar Festival International Guitar Competition. Jordan received his Bachelor’s of Music Performance and minor in Audio Technology from Columbus State University, Schwob School of Music under the direction of international guitar pedagogue Andrew Zohn and Matthew McCabe respectively. He received his Master's of Music from the University of Louisville where he was also the recipient of Graduate Dean's Citation for Professional and Academic Achievement. Jordan is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts under the tutalege of the renown pedagogue Julian Gray.
In 2014 Jordan release his debut album “Sketches”. Recorded in the beautiful Legacy Hall, this album includes works by Weiss, Bach, Bennett, Legnani, and the title composition “Sketches of a Memory” for guitar and electronics by Jordan.
Along with an active performance schedule Jordan is involved in the recording industry. He was tracking engineer of the CSU trombone ensemble recording “A Beautiful Noise” released in 2014 through Summit Records. This album was a three-year long project that featured guest soloists such as Charlie Vernon, James Markey, and Joseph Alessi among others. Most recently Jordan was the mixing engineer for the new album by internationally acclaimed pop guitarist Justin Miller under Sony Record Label.
His first international appearance was in 2010 Madrid, Spain where he was a featured soloist in a six concert tour through Madrid. This included performances in Madrids Ateneo theater, Calatravas Cathedral, and the Nicolas Salmerón Culture Center. This tour was sponsored by the 2010 ChamberArt Music Festival.
Jordan is the creator and director of the Ghana National Music Festival - the first classical music festival and the first long term collaboration in music between Ghana and the U.S.A. The inaugural year, 2016, included artist teachers from the University of Louisville, University of Ghana, and the National Symphony of Ghana.
Along with performing, Jordan is an active teacher in the Winchester, Va community and surrounding areas and a happy father and husband.
A Personal Note
Having lived in Ghana for 14 years, it's always been a dream of mine to combine my passion for music with my love for Ghanaian culture. I knew that I wanted to do something big but it always revolved around classical guitar, an instrument that hasn't received much popularity in Ghana yet. However, after talking to my teacher, mentor, and friend Stephen Mattingly about it, he encouraged me to think out of the box and thus the GNMF was born.
What an incredible ride it's been! Personally, developing a program like this while pursuing a Master's and Doctorate degree was no easy task. It takes an incredible amount time, effort, organization, and help from others but in the end we successfully raised over $15,000 for our inaugural year and created the first collaborative, international classical music festival Ghana has ever had! It's not just exciting, it really blows my mind every time I think about it.
Jordan Taylor - Artistic Director