Brief Bio

BRUCE EISENBEIL – electric and acoustic guitars

“Eisenbeil transcends the perceived limitations of his instrument primarily by evolving new conceptual and technical approaches to playing it” ~ Barry Cleveland; Guitar Player Magazine

“Remarkable” • “A distinctive voice. About as revolutionary as music can actually get.” ~ The Wire

“Gripping” ~ Francis Davis

“Strikingly original.”~ Downbeat

“A prophetic voice” ~ Jazz Improv Magazine

“Eisenbeil is one of the most unique jazz guitarists to emerge in decades.” ~ Harvey Pekar, JazzTimes

Bruce Eisenbeil is a composer, improviser, and guitar instrumentalist who has dedicated his life to the advancement of modern guitar techniques through the growth and evolution of modern composition and improvised music. He has twelve CD’s released on a variety of labels including: ESP, New Atlantis, Pogus, Nemu, Konnex, Cadence, C.I.M.P and Nine Winds. Eisenbeil has performed and recorded with some of the best musicians throughout the USA, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Brasil, and at many festivals. Eisenbeil has been living in New York City since 1995.

In addition to his musical developments, Eisenbeil is trained in advanced mathematics, physics – general relativity and quantum mechanics, organic chemistry, computer languages, electrical engineering, acoustics, art history, philosophy and psychology. He has worked as an electrical technician, mechanical draftsman, auto mechanic and in construction.

Although Eisenbeil was born in Chicago, he grew up in Plainfield, NJ which is where he began playing the guitar when he was 4 years old. He has been performing professionally since he was 15. Mostly self-taught, he studied with a few great teachers including Joe Pass, Howard Roberts, Joe Diorio, and Dennis Sandole – teacher of John Coltrane and Pat Martino.

Despite the fact that Eisenbeil is singular artist with his own personal sound, those critics  who write comparatively associate him not only with guitarists such as Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, Grant Green, Billy Bauer, Derek Bailey, Sarnie Garrett, Sonny Sharrock, Curtis Mayfield, John McLaughlin, Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck but also with saxophonists John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman and pianists McCoy Tyner and Cecil Taylor. Eisenbeil’s ensemble writing has garnered a lot of attention for his unique counterpoint, textures, and sound masses.  Because his work is tough to describe, critics have associated Eisenbeil’s writing with that of Miles Davis, Don Cherry, Brian Ferneyhough, Sun Ra, Anthony Braxton, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and the Revolutionary Ensemble.

Eisenbeil has performed and/or recorded with some of the best musicians in the world including: Cecil Taylor, Katsuyuki Itakura, David Fox, David Murray, Evan Parker, Rob Brown, Ellery Eskelin, Aaron Ali Shaikh, Jimmy Stewert, Biggi Vinkeloe, Steve Swell, David Taylor, Karl Berger, Perry Robinson, Michael Manring, Alex Blake, William Parker, Kent Carter, Lisle Ellis, Wilbo Wright, Hill Greene, Tom Abbs, Peter Evans, Nate Wooley, Tom Hamilton, Charles Cohen, SKFL, Milford Graves, Badal Roy, Andrew Cyrille, Edgar Bateman, Nasheet Waits, Jay Rosen, William Hooker, Lou Grassi, Ian Ash, Lukas Ligeti, Shiro Onuma, Michael Lopez, and many others. In the 1980’s he worked with Jeff Buckley, Paul Gilbert and in R&B bands.  His trio, TOTEM>, includes Tom Blancarte and Andrew Drury.

Eisenbeil has performed at these festivals:

2014 Marlboro Blues & BBQ (NJ)
2013 ESP 50th Anniversary Festival (NYC)
2013 Marlboro Blues & BBQ (NJ)
2008 Sonic Circuits Festival (Washington D.C.)
2008 New Languages Festival (NYC)
2008 Boise Experimental Music Festival
2007 EDGEFEST (Ann Arbor)
2006 Montreal Jazz Festival
2006 Silent Art Festival(Bochum)
2005 Silent Art Festival(Bochum)
2001 Vision Festival
1998 CMJ Music Conference
1997 Texaco New York Jazz Festival
1997 Buffalo Interprov Festival
1997 Philadelphia Mellon Jazz Festival
1997 Trenton Avant-garde Festival
1997 Philadelphia Fringe Festival
1997 CMJ Music Conference, NYC
1996 Philadelphia PSFS-Mellon Jazz Festival

Eisenbeil’s work has been featured in Guitar Player magazine (May 2009), Jazz Review (August 2008), All About Jazz (Los Angeles: November 2007), Cadence (Feb. 2003), Avant (Autumn 2001), and Staten Island Advance (1999). He has been interviewed on several online sites including: Kronosonic,,, one final

In 2008 the legendary label ESP released SOLAR FORGE, the debut CD for TOTEM>, a co-led trio Eisenbeil is part of with Tom Blancarte and Andrew Drury. Despite being sonically provocative, their CD received over 40 critically acclaimed reviews worldwide. Solar Forge was picked as one of the Top 10 Releases for 2008 by Trevor Hunter (New Music Box, American Music Center), Mark Saleski (, Pico (, Stuart Broomer (All About Jazz—New York, and Phil Freeman (The Wire, Village Voice).

Eisenbeil’s 2007 CD, INNER CONSTELLATION Volume 1 (nemu007), received over 30 critically acclaimed reviews worldwide. INNER CONSTELLATION was voted one of the Top 10 Jazz CD’s in 2007 by: Ken Waxman (Coda), Budd Kopman (All About Jazz), Stuart Broomer (Village Voice) , Eyal Hareuveni (All About Jazz), and (Hungary)

In 2006, his CD, CARNIVAL SKIN (Nemu 003), was voted by Hank Shteamer of Time Out NY one of the Top 10 new releases. DJ’s at WNUR voted it as one of the Top 50 records in 2006. Based on airplay at WNUR it was one of the Top 50 albums of 2006. Carnival Skin appeared on dozens of Top Ten radio playlists throughout the year.

In 2002, the readers and writers of Cadence Jazz Magazine voted his third CD, OPIUM, one of the top 10 new jazz releases of that year.

In-Depth Online Interviews:

Eisenbeil on YouTube with TOTEM>

More info: