Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Skye, Eric

Skye, Eric, guitar; b. Doylestown, PA, 8 February 1966. His parents were Gunther Kaminsky (1926-1985) and Ruth Tretheway (b. 1937). His father was an established local artist known for hand made early American furniture reproductions and still life oil paintings. His mother was also an artist and homemaker.

At the age of 7 his grandmother gave him and his sister each guitars. He was basically self-taught until his sister, being eight years older, eventually began dating, and luckily for Eric seemed to have preference for guitar players. One of which was a classical guitar teacher that gave him lessons. Later another boyfriend knew blues songs, which Eric describes as a pivotal development. In 1979 the family relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area. Eric's father encouraged, to put it nicely, formal classical guitar instruction. His father was from the old county, and could only appreciate European classical music. Eric studied with one of classical guitarist Christopher Parkening's top students on and off for years. Eric struck a balance of trying to "do the right thing" with classical guitar to appease his father, while deepening his fascination with the blues. His teacher encouraged him to get jazz records, which he did, starting with Ah mad Jamal and Miles Davis. From then on, jazz was it.

He later studied with Bay Area teacher George Schmidt, who was in turn a student of Tuck Andress, one of Eric's favorite guitar players at the time. Eric majored in music at De Anza College. He was fortunate enough to study theory under famed European concert pianist Anna Marie Poklewski. In the mid 1980's Eric played a great deal of solo acoustic, and duo gigs in various parings. By 1990 he was playing duo and trio gigs with Bay Area woodwind legend Rick Yamashiro. Eric credits his years of playing eclectic acoustic jazz with Rick Yamashiro as being critical in terms of being able to stretch out and yet keep the audience engaged. In 1993 Eric moved North to San Francisco and played full-time in several established groups ranging from vintage soul jazz, to jump blues, to straight ahead. It was at this time that Eric's renowned status as a teacher came into being. During most of the almost ten years that he taught in San Francisco he had a wa iting list of six months or more.
In June of 2001 Eric relocated to the Pacific Northwest and produced his debut album. Eric also got the attention of several record companies before signing with Standard Jazz in September of 2002.

Acoustic Jazz Guitar Solos (2001)

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