About


Born in 1969 in Queens, New York, Dustin Ehrlich began playing the guitar at the age of thirteen. In the 1980's, he studied theory and performance at a local music school on scholarship. During this period, Ehrlich competed in state-wide jazz competitions and performed a classical repertoire with a local orchestra. He also performed and recorded regularly in the New York City metropolitan area with rock groups including the band Doomsday, the precursor to the band Winter which, according to the "The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal", is considered to be one of the fathers of the Doom Metal movement, along with Black Sabbath.

In 1987, Ehrlich began studying at Vassar College in New York on scholarship. At Vassar, he studied with master atonal composer Richard Wilson and electric avant-garde jazz pioneer Richard Teitelbaum. Outside of the classroom, Ehrlich played both guitar and bass in progressive and improvisational groups at local clubs and festivals.

After graduating from Vassar, Ehrlich moved to NYC and studied with Sal Salvador-the legendary master jazz guitarist and veteran of Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington and Herbie Hancock-led groups. In the late 1990's, Ehrlich was actively composing, recording, and performing. His compositions earned him a soundtrack credit for an award-winning documentary and his performances and recordings included work with progressive jazz ensembles such as Aun, Hannuman's Cup, the Coliseum Trio, and others.

By 2000, Ehrlich had developed a new voice in the jazz guitar idiom, both compositionally and improvisationally. Influenced by artists such as John Abercrombie, Ralph Towner, John McLaughlin, Terje Rypdal and Keith Jarrett, Ehrlich's 2003 CD recording "A Distant Star" blends acoustic/electric atmospheric jazz and exciting, intimate post-bop improvisational style to create music that is new and uniquely beautiful.

In 2005, after hearing "A Distant Star", "20th Century Guitar" magazine contacted Ehrlich and notified him that they had selected this CD out of hundreds of CD's for review that month. "A Distant Star" received an outstanding review. Later, "20th Century Guitar" magazine featured an article on Ehrlich, which appeared in 2005 in the Greg Lake (of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer) issue.

Also in 2005, Ehrlich competed in several rounds of the "Guitarmageddon" contest sponsored by Guitar Center Stores. The competition was judged by members of Bad Company, Foreigner, and a variety of top-flight studio musicians. Ehrlich won first place in Manhattan, beating out approximately 30-40 other people over the course of several nights of competitions. To win the title each of those nights, and to win the entire competition, Ehrlich had composed an original piece of music and improvised within the framework of this original piece using concepts associated with Hungarian folk music. Ultimately, the originality of the composition and improvisations enabled Ehrlich to win First Prize.

In 2017, Ehrlich released two recordings. "Look to the Dawn" is an entirely improvised studio recording from 1995 which showcases the guitarist in solo and self-accompanied performances using electric guitar, classical guitar, bass, piano, and tenor saxophone. "Live at the Knitting Factory and Beyond" is a set of solo electric guitar performances recorded live in NYC in 2005-2006, capturing the raw energy and originality of one of NYC's most unique and inventive underground jazz guitarists.