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Photo by Harper Shadron Photography

Erik Abernathy is an award-winning guitarist and upright 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. 

Erik is the guitarist for the guitar/vocal duo, Giselle and Erik, which was recently awarded a DownBeat Student Music Award (2021) for the Latin category at the graduate level. Erik was a 2020 jazz finalist for the Wilson Center Guitar Competition and Festival and, as a scholarship winner, was invited by the Brazilian Music Institute (BMI) at Broward College to attend Master Classes and perform. As a composer/arranger, Erik’s original big band composition is currently being recorded by the University of Florida jazz big band. He is credited as the bassist for the same group, appearing live and in recordings. 


Erik received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Florida and will graduate in May 2022 with a Master of Music degree with a focus in Jazz Studies as a double gator. 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. 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. Erik is currently developing his own online guitar course set to launch in 2022.


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