The guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, born in 1965, lives in Vienna and is considered to be one of the most influential guitarists of his generation. After his classical training on the violin, he discovered his love for the guitar at the age of 15. His interest in his own as well as in improvised music finally led him to jazz. After his studies with Mick Goodrick at the New England Conservatory and later at Berklee College of Music in Boston, he toured for two years with the Gary Burton quintet and earned himself an excellent reputation in the Jazz scene. From the mid 90s, he lived and worked in the Jazz capital, New York. During this time, he daringly took sensitive excursions into the world of pop music with Rebekka Bakken, while pursuing the electronic project Muthspiel/Muthspiel with his brother. As a sought-after sideman, he has played for Trilok Gurtu, Dhafer Youssef, Youssou N’Dour, Maria Joao, Dave Liebmann, Peter Erskine, Paul Motian, Bob Berg, Gary Peacock, Don Alias, Larry Grenadier, John Patitucci, Dieter Ilg, the Vienna Art Orchestra and many others.
In the year 2000, he founded the label “Material Records” which, up to the present, has released numerous recordings of international artists. Following the European tour with his new quartet ,2008, and the duo-project “Friendly Travellers” in collaboration with the drummer Brian Blade ,2008, Wolfgang Muthspiel increasingly dedicated himself to the trio “MGT” (Muthspiel-Grigoryan-Towner) with whom, after several concert tours, a highly-acclaimed debut album “From a dream” was released. Additionally, he composed for various ensembles such as the Klangform Vienna and, in Haydn year 2009, a production commissioned by the Esterhàzy foundation. He produces recordings of young musicians and he heads the class for guitarists at the Musikhochschule Basel FHNW.
The “Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio”, the “Drumfree Trio”, the critically acclaimed “Wolfgang Muthspiel Quintet” as well as his constantly evolving solo performance can be found among his current projects.
In June 2012, the recording of the “Vienna Naked” project, a song programme which Muthspiel composed for guitar and vocals, was released. Muthspiel debuted with “MGT” on the album “Travel Guide” in 2013 on the reputable Munich label ECM. In 2014, his debut as Bandleader with ECM followed. The trio- recording “Driftwood” with Brian Blade and Larry Grenadier triggered extensive media coverage and in the year 2014, Muthspiel was given his own cycle in the Vienna Konzerthaus. Another vocal recording followed in 2015 with the project “Vienna World”, during the course of which he played concerts and recorded with 18 musicians in Rio de Janiero, Buenos Aires, New York, Sweden and Vienna.
In autumn 2016, “Rising Grace” was released on ECM records. This quintet recording, with Brad Mehldau, Ambrose Akinmusire, Brian Blade and Larry Grenadier, graced many Best lists in 2016, received five stars of five from Downbeat Magazine and provided the “Wolfgang Muthspiel Quintet” with a number of sold-out concerts worldwide. Among Wolfgang Muthspiel’s numerous awards are the Hans Koller prize for “Musician of the Year” and the award for “European Jazz Musician of the Year 2003”. What’s more, the Musicians Magazine” elected him among the “top ten guitarists in the world”.