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For people who like fusion with prominent guitar playing, the name Richard Hallebeek should sound familiar. His unique style and lyrical phrasing have solidified his position as one of the best within his genre, and have seen him collaborate with several jazz/fusion legends throughout his career.
Growing up in the small village of Bilthoven, Netherlands nothing pegged young Richard Hallebeek to become what he is now. Namely one of the greatest voices within the world of progressive jazz and fusion guitar. His parents weren’t musicians, and even though they heard a lot of The Beatles and Frank Zappa at home, none of these huge innovators would become what tipped the musical scale for Richard. Instead it was the ubiquitous music show “Top Of The Pops” that saw lightning strike with Richard at the age of ten after witnessing energetic performances by Toto and Talking Heads on the show.
From that point on, there was no stopping him. Richard took up guitar instantly and became a self-proclaimed “total guitar-nerd”, dedicating every waking hour to the art of the six-string. He dove deep into the intricate and virtuoso guitar playing of Pat Matheny, Allan Holdsworth and Eddie Van Halen all while still maintaining a deep-rooted love for the catchy tunes of The Beatles. At age 12, Richard was already performing with various local jazz and rock outfits, and at the age of 17 he officially became the youngest guitar player ever to be accepted into the highly respected Hilversum Conservatory, where he studied with jazz legend, Wim Overgaauw.
He graduated with a master’s degree in jazz, composition and improvisation. Not known to be standing still for too long, Richard decided to evolve his skills overseas by taking a one year course at the world renowned Los Angeles Music Institute, where he would find himself studying with none-other than Scott Henderson, Brett Garsed and Dan Gilbert.
Besides seeing his guitar skills rise to new levels of excellence, Richard’s trip across the pond also taught him a valuable lesson. No matter where you live, you can’t wait on your lucky break, you have to make things happen yourself!
This level of drive and dedication saw Richard Hallebeek record his critically acclaimed debut album “Generator” together with legendary guitarists Frank Gambale and Carl Verheyen, and former class mates Scott Henderson and Dan Gilbert.
From thereon Richard has gone from strength to strength acting as everything as an in demand session player, writer for the popular Dutch music magazine “Music Maker”, and the orchestrator behind his own ambitious music venture called the Richard Hallebeek Project, where his ultra-creative compositions has seen guest appearances by iconic guitarists such as Shawn Lane, Andy Timmons, Greg Howe, Guthrie Govan and Eric Gales.
Richard is a grand musical collaborator, and there’s no doubt that his lyrical phrasing and spine-tinkling tones will grace several recordings to come.
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