Jacques Stotzem was one of the performers at the first International Finger-Style Guitar Festival Malaysia 2015 (IFSGF) held two weeks ago at PJ Live Arts!
Born in 1959, Jacques (simply pronounced ‘Jack’) hails from Belgium and with his array of styles in fingertyle guitar-ing, has recorded 13 CDs and is high up on the list of top contemporary acoustic guitar players we love! He has also become a regular guest at European and American festivals and is often invited for tours in Japan, China or Taiwan.
Jacques has been likened to artists such as Leo Kottke, Paco De Lucia, Neil Young and Keb’ Mo’ all known for their fingerstyle guitar skills and music that vary within a mix of blues, folk, and rock. From what we know, his highly refined playing style combines a well-developed melodic sense with a rare dynamic approach to the instrument that speaks directly to the listener.
Deep, huh? Now a trip down memory lane:
Jacques picked up the guitar at the age of 16 after watching fingerstyle guitar player Stefan Grossman playing on TV. He hasn’t looked back since — learning the guitar by himself in order to create his own compositions and eventually finding his niche in fingerstyle.
Unlike many guitar players today, he possesses an in-depth sense of harmonic knowledge cemented together by his perfect command of the instrument, his optimistic personality and his love for the acoustic guitar that’s as clear and shiny as his almost bald head.
“I describe my style as acoustic rock guitar. I like melodious stuff but also dynamic rock numbers. The acoustic guitar is a fantastic instrument because when you’re interested in playing solo, the dynamic range of the acoustic is much bigger than the electric guitar,” says Jacques when we met him at PJ Live Arts earlier in the month.
He wasn’t kidding when he talked about the range of an acoustic being much bigger than an electric and here he is proving it with Purple Haze from Jimi Hendrix.
And if you think that power chords don’t sound as pleasing on an acoustic guitar, here is another flawless cover of Come As You Are by Nirvana.