Born on Christmas Day 1987, Julian Lage was raised in the Bay Area, where he was recognized early on as child prodigy. He became interested in the guitar at the age of 4, which inspired his father to take up the instrument. The two began playing together, learning the ins and outs of improvisation and exploring various musical genres, beginning with the blues. Lage's chops evolved quickly, and he became the subject of the documentaryJules at Eight, which was nominated for an Academy Award. At 8, Lage was also asked to sit in with Varlos Santana. He made his debut on record at age 11, on David Grisman's album Dawg Duos.
Vibraphonist Gary Burton developed an interest in the young guitarist and asked Lage to sit in with his band. After that "audition," the two musicians set about playing short tours together on a regular basis. At 17, Lage made his first recording with Burton for the 2004 album Generations, which includes some of Lage's own compositions. The pair worked as well in the studio as they did on the stage, and he joined Burton again for Next Generation, released the following year.
In March 2009, Lage released his debut album as a leader, Sounding Point, which was nominated for the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Lage's latest record, Gladwell, has also received rave reviews. The album is a cycle of mostly original, Americana-inspired small-group melodies. Each tune revolves around the fictional town of the album's title, and the work has earned Lage favorable comparison to Bill Frisell, another thoughtful guitarist who carefully stirs the American music melting pot.
Excerpt above from NPR.