Originally from Boise, Idaho, Brent Vaartstra performed professionally at some of the most esteemed venues in the area. He has studied with acclaimed pianist Justin Nielsen and briefly with renowned Los Angeles based guitarist Bruce Forman, before moving to Seattle, Washington to further his studies and work.
While studying at Cornish College of the Arts, he gigged regularly in the Seattle area at clubs and restaurants. After studying with Pacific Northwest greats such as bassist Chuck Deardorf and guitarist Dave Peterson, he moved to New York City in 2010.
Brent acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz Performance at the City College of New York, where he studied with world-renowned guitarists Peter Bernstein, Vic Juris, and Steve Cardenas and other respected musicians. He has played in groups such as the Don Hahn Quintet and the Laura Campisi Trio, among others, and his own groups: the Brent Vaartstra Trio and Quartet. He teaches and gigs actively around the New York area as a leader and a sideman, and has played at iconic jazz clubs such as Fat Cat in Greenwich Village.
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"...a master of the jazz guitar. His tone and harmonic/melodic conception is modern, yet firmly rooted in the post-Wes tradition.
- Scott Reeves, Trombonist and Professor at City College of NY
"An accomplished guitarist possessing a great deal of ability and imagination on the instrument.
- Steve Cardenas, Jazz Guitarist (Paul Motian, Steve Swallow...)