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Photo by Harper Shadron Photography

Erik Abernathy is an award-winning guitarist and bassist with a unique style inspired by genres including Brazilian music, Hot Club Jazz, classical guitar, Bebop, rock, folk, and blues. The breadth of his styles reflects his having played and studied with many renowned guitarists including Hot Club Jazz guitarist, Lulu Reinhardt, Brazilian guitarists, Ulisses Rocha and Yamandu Costa, Grammy nominated guitarist, Diego Figueredo, and world-renowned guitarist, Sergio Assad. 


His music duo, Giselle and Erik, recently returned from the Disney Dream cruise ship, where they spent nearly five months entertaining for the Walt Disney Company. As a guitarist, Erik was a 2020 jazz finalist for the Wilson Center Guitar Competition and Festival. In back-to-back years, Erik was recognized by the international DownBeat Student Music Awards for his work in the Vocal Arrangement and Latin Group performance categories at the graduate level. 


Erik holds a Master of Music degree with a focus in Jazz Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Florida. Erik’s award-winning, senior engineering design project –an analog-to-MIDI converter for electric guitars – exemplifies his unique blend of engineering and musical prowess. As a UF graduate student, Erik has taught jazz theory, jazz improvisation, and music production courses. He was credited as a guitarist, bassist, composer, and arranger for the UF Jazz Big Band. Alongside veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Wycliff Gordon, and UF music faculty, Erik also taught in HAPCO-sponsored music camps during his UF tenure.  Most recently in 2023, Erik launched his own online guitar course.


Currently, Erik is the guitarist for the Giselle and Erik music duo. He also serves as the guitar instructor for the First Presbyterian Church of Nashville Music Academy.


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