At age 27, Julian Lage already boasts a resume that an artist twice his age would be proud to claim. A former child prodigy—he was the subject of the 1997 documentary Jules at Eight—the California- born, now New York–based guitarist has collaborated with such giants as Gary Burton, Jim Hall, David Grisman, Béla Fleck, and Charles Lloyd. He’s released three albums as a leader, most recently 2015’s solo outing World’s Fair, and a few others in duo situations, including Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, pianist Fred Hersch, and Punch Brothers guitarist Chris Eldridge. Lage has also served as a sideman to many.
Lage describes his forthcoming album, Arclight, as a “collection of originals and pre– bebop-era songs.” After recording with Scott Colley and Kenny Wollesen, Julian looks forward to performing the music in a live setting, but more than anything, he’s simply excited about discovering what the trio format is capable of doing. “There’s a willingness to jump in with these guys,” he says. “At the end of the day it comes down to throwing yourself at the music.”
Setting anchor in New York, says Lage, has afforded him the freedom to pursue his music in multiple directions simultaneously. “There’s a camaraderie here and it takes the pressure off of you,” he says. “People here are open-minded, very forward- thinking. So even if you say, ‘Hey, I’m a jazz guitar player but I like to play country music too,’ they say, ‘Cool, go for it!’ I’ve always felt privileged to be able to do this, and I still feel that way.”