Martin Taylor began playing the guitar at the age of four when his father, jazz bassist Buck Taylor gave him a small acoustic guitar as a present. He began to teach himself to play by listening to his father's jazz records and by the age of twelve was playing in local bands. Although inspired initially by the gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, it was to be piano players, most notably Art Tatum, that caught his imagination and set him on the path of developing his own individual style of solo guitar playing.

Martin Taylor

Martin Taylor

In 1978 he made his debut album "Taylor Made" for Wave Records and the following year received a call from Stephane Grappelli inviting him to play on a series of concerts in France. The great jazz violinist was so impressed that he asked Taylor to join him on a coast to coast tour of the U.S. including Carnegie Hall New York and The Hollywood Bowl. Alongside his work with Grappelli, he was still pursuing his own solo career, receiving wide critical acclaim for his albums "Sarabanda" recorded in Los Angeles in 1987 and featuring bassist John Patitucci, Brazilian percussionist Paulinho Da Costa and produced by Toto bassist David Hungate.

In 1990, Taylor made his first album for Linn Records "Don't Fret" and decided to concentrate completely on his solo career. In 1993 he made his solo album ARTISTRY which topped the UK Jazz Charts for 6 weeks. In the same year, Grappelli and Taylor briefly joined forces again to make a duo album "Reunion" and were the subject of a BBC TV documentary which has been shown across Europe, America, the Far East and Australia. In 1994 he formed his group MARTIN TAYLOR'S SPIRIT OF DJANGO with the aim to pay homage and create a new contemporary sound inspired by the gypsy guitar genius Django Reinhardt. Their first album "Spirit of Django", reached No. 1 in the UK Jazz Charts for several weeks and was nominated "Best Album of the Year 1995" at the British Jazz Awards. In 1997 the group was voted "Best Small Band" in the British Jazz Awards and Martin was voted "Best Guitarist" for the seventh time.

Martin has built up a large following worldwide through his recordings, videos and busy touring schedule. He has been featured in most of the popular guitar magazines in America and Europe, and in May '98 was the first non-classical guitarist to grace the front cover of Classical Guitar Magazine. Martin has collaborated with many musicians outside the jazz world including Yes guitarist Steve Howe and classical guitarist Carlos Bonell.

When celebrating 25 years as a professional musician he has was honoured with a Civic Reception in his old home town of Ayr, Scotland and was given the Freedom of the City of London in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the world of guitar music. He was also awarded with an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Paisley in Scotland.