John Stowell began his successful career in the early 1970’s with private study with guitarist Linc Chamberland and pianist John Mehegan. Both men were valuable mentors to John, allowing him to play with them as he progressed in his development.
Several years later he met bassist David Friesen in New York City, and they formed a duo that recorded and toured prolifically for seven years, with performances in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. In 1983, John and David joined flutist Paul Horn and Paul’s son Robin Horn (on drums) for a historic tour of the Soviet Union.
This was the first time in forty years that an American jazz group had been invited to play public performances in Russia. In 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2012 John returned to Russia, playing in numerous cities. His two sold-out performances in Kursk may have been the first appearances there by an American jazz musician. John continues to tour, record and teach internationally. He has been Artist-In-Residence at schools in Germany, Indonesia, Argentina, and in the United States and Canada.
He served as assistant director and performer in Oregon Public Broadcasting’s PDX Jazz Summit in 1991, and since 1995 has been a contributing columnist for a number of magazines, including “Downbeat”, “Guitar Player”, “Canadian Musician”, “Soundcheck” (Germany), and “Guitar Club” (Italy).
With bassist David Friesen, featured of the soundtracks of two Academy Award Nominated short films (Will Vinton Studios, Portland, OR, and Bosustow Studios, Los Angeles, CA) “Through the Listening Glass” with David Friesen chosen of the “Ten Best Jazz Albums of the Decade” by the Los Angeles Examiner Chosen “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” by Downbeat’s International Critic’s Poll, 1978 and 1979 Featured in Japan’s “Swing Journal”, “The Jazz Guitar” (Ashely Mark Publishing, England), and the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz (Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler).