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Material Records

Material Records is owned and run by Wolfgang Muthspiel. Wolfgang Muthspiel was born in 1965 and lives in Vienna, Austria.

He has released over 30 CD albums, featuring mainly his compositions, that document his work as bandleader and as collaborator.


Wolfgang’s Mozart-loving father encouraged him to start with violin playing at the age of six. At age 14, he switched to guitar and began to create his own musical compositions with his brother, Christian Muthspiel (himself a virtuoso of various wind instruments). Although trained as a classical musician he took to both acoustic and electric guitar playing with an eagerness to learn, and his flair for improvisation was immediately apparent.


During his 20s, his interest in improvisation led him into the world of jazz. He moved to Boston, Massachusetts and attended the Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship in 1986.  It was there he met legendary guitarist Mick Goodrick who introduced Wolfgang to new and complex harmonic worlds.


In 1988 he began a 2-year touring period with the Gary Burton Band, and acquired an outstanding reputation in the jazz scene. By the mid-nineties he arrived in the capital of jazz, New York City, where he lived and worked until 2002. The city offered him a unique platform for pursuing different projects and meeting musicians from all over the world.


Together with feted Norwegian singer Rebekka Bakken, he explored the world of song composition while with his brother he pursued their common electronic project Muthspiel/Muthspiel.  Simultaneously, he acted as a steadfast and ingenious sideman for Trilok Gurtu, Dhafer Youssef, Youssou N’Dour, Maria João, Dave Liebman, Peter Erskine, Paul Motian, Bob Berg, Gary Peacock, Don Alias, Larry Grenadier, John Patitucci, Dieter Ilg, the Vienna Art Orchestra and a myriad of others.


After 16 years in that country of boundless possibilities he moved back home to Austria in 2002, settling down in Vienna.  Now in demand as a virtuosic and creative co-leader and sideman in Europe,  in 2002 he founded the label “Material Records” where he publishes and produces his own recordings as well as albums of other  artists he admires.


After having toured Europe with his new 4tet (2008) and the duo-project with the drummer Brian Blade (2008) Wolfgang Muthspiel focussed on the trio “MGT” (Muthspiel –  Slava Grigoryan – Ralph Towner). In addition to his jazz projects, Muthspiel is active composing for contemporary classical ensembles like the Klangforum Wien or the Hugo Wolf Quartet.


In recent years he received commissions from the Austrian Esterházy foundation (Haydn Year 2009). Furthermore Wolfgang Muthspiel is conducting the guitar class at the Conservatoire of Music in Basel, Switzerland. Among his current projects is the Duo “Friendly Travelers” with drummer Brian Blade, the “Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio”, “MGT “, the “Drumfree Trio“ (with Scott Colley and Mark Turner) as well as an ever-changing solo performance incorporating many different guitars and loops.


Since 2009 the collaboration with Turkish pianist Aydin Esen has led to yet another project by the name of “dream cycle” bringing together contemporary aesthetics of both the classical and the jazz world.


In 2012 Wolfgang released “Vienna, Naked” his first solo album as  singer/songwriter. He is currently working on new Trio recordings with Brian Blade and Larry Grenadier as well as a new Song Project by the name of “Vienna, World”.


Over the years, Wolfgang’s frenetic activities have not gone unnoticed by his peers and contemporaries in the music world: among numerous awards Wolfgang has received the Hans Koller Prize for  “Musician of the Year“ in 1997 and in 2003 he was voted “European Jazz Musician of the Year”.  Musicians Magazine ranked him globally, in the “Top Ten Jazz Guitarists”.



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