Jamie Stillway Spotlight

"Domisomido" from her CD Mell of a Hess
TGS Spotlight Player from September 2, 2010

Guitarist Jamie Stillway grew up on an apple orchard in rural Minnesota and didn't begin her quest to play the guitar until she was 13 years old. As the old adage says, “better late than never” and indeed this held true for Stillway, who started studying classical guitar in high school while still attempting to master the great guitar riffs of the seventies. After receiving a degree in film studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Stillway put her dashed dreams of being an Oscar winning cinematographer aside and began to study with the great ragtime and blues picker Kenny Sultan.

After a brief stint in Denver as a rhythm guitarist in a gypsy jazz group, Stillway relocated to Portland, Oregon. In 2002, she teamed up with resonator slide man, Ben Bonham, and the duo snared serious accolades from all corners. As the Oregonian aptly reported, “Jamie Stillway not only comps big, fat, swinging and expensive jazz chords but picks with a ferocity that would make Django proud. If she's not grinning ear to ear during her solos, she should be. Her technique is commanding and artful, and she possesses a gypsy soul that would be at home in 1930s Paris or busking on the streets of Dallas”.

In 2005, Stillway released her debut solo CD, Mell of a Hess, which featured many guest musicians from the Portland area. Jazz Times magazine noted: "Mixing up genres without pretension, the nimble Stillway moves freely and with wit and creative restlessness, between the worlds of, say, Leo Kottke and Django Reinhardt." After a short tour of Austria and Germany, Stillway received an endorsement from Stevens Guitar of Munich.

Stillway’s sophmore album, Winter Rings, was released in July of 2007. Online guitar magazine stated, “she continues to deliver an eclectic mix of sounds with an ensemble of fine supporting players. This is music with attitude always, muscle when it needs it, spunk, and a healthy sense of humor.” In addition to her performing, Stillway has spent many years honing her skills as a guitar instructor, and has taught at workshops and camps. Stillway is currently at work on her next album, featuring solo guitar, which should be available in early 2011.

Visit Jamie Stillway's website at

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