Bassist Roland Guerin was pursuing an education in marketing at Southern University in Louisiana when he took the first steps on his path to a career in music and started playing with the Jazztronauts, an outfit led by avant-garde jazz clarinetist Alvin Batiste. Once he had his degree in hand, Guerin moved on to the Mark Whitfield Band. He devoted more than six years to touring and performing with the jazz guitarist's band. Along the way, he performed with such jazz luminaries as Gerry Mulligan, George Benson, Vernel Fournier, Frank Morgan, and Jimmy Scott. In addition, Guerin worked on a few recordings, among them Twelve's It by Ellis Marsalis; Connected by Allen Toussaints; Blues for the New Millennium, Portraits in Blue, and In Honor of Duke by Marcus Roberts; and Forever Love from Mark Whitfield, plus Whitfield's eponymous album. By 1998, Guerin branched out as a bandleader and released the ten-track album The Winds of the New Land. Backing him were Peter Martin on piano, Nicholas Payton on trumpet, Donald Edwards on drums, and Whitfield on guitar. He called his original compositions Christina jazz and said that God had inspired all ten original compositions. Several honors followed, including being chosen for a Fantasy Jazz Band by Jazz Review. In 1998, New Orleans Magazine named him a Contemporary Jazz All-Star. The bassist followed up with an album from the Roland Guerin Sextet, Live at the Blue Note, a Half Note Record release. Like his debut, this album contained original material, but this time around Guerin also included the classics "Autumn Leaves" and "All Blues." You Don't Have to See It to Believe It followed in 2000. Shortly before the album was released, he toured Japan for four weeks. Guerin and his band played the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1999, and the Jazz Times Convention the previous year. In addition to leading his band, Guerin also performs with Sadao Watanabe, Jesse Davis, and Marcus Roberts. ~ Linda Seida
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