Xander Naylor is a guitarist and composer who gathers the vocabularies and core energetic forces of avant jazz, post-rock, and Indian classical music, into what Rolling Stone India describes as “that signature Naylor sound.” Born of his own spiritual journey and deep study of multiple Eastern and Western traditions, Naylor’s music has brought him to perform in concerts and festivals all over the world. Naylor is a ground-breaking guitarist, and a fearless searcher, forging new techniques, extended sounds, and employing rhythmic acrobatics, all in service of a visceral musical experience.
He began studying the music of India with tabla maestro Samir Chatterjee in 2008, and in 2015 was initiated as a disciple in the guru-shishya-parampara tradition. Naylor has worked consistently at adapting the sounds and techniques of North Indian classical music onto the guitar and finding a place for them within Western styles such as jazz, rock and pop.
In addition to maintaining a career as a performer, Naylor is an established educator, with a specialty in promoting understanding between Western and Indian musical languages. His teaching activities include a regular roster of dedicated private students, as well as instructing the Indian Ensemble at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (NYC). He has performed and conducted workshops at The New School, Manhattan School of Music, Columbia University, Drew University, Chhandayan Center for Indian Music, and Global Music Institute (Delhi, India).
Naylor’s 2020 album, Continuum, features compositions for his band Sound Machine, which are all about breaking through the barriers of digital screens and facing others eye-to-eye, as well as facing the problematic discourses of our time with the knowledge that “there still are people who still stand for respect and the ideal of common good.”
In 2021, Naylor was awarded the state of Vermont’s ‘Creation Grant,’ the state’s highest award in support of the arts (also funded in part by the NEA). With that support, Naylor is currently working on his next full-length record, specifically fusing jazz with Indian classical elements, featuring Samir Chatterjee, Utsav Lal, Raphael Pannier, and Birsa Chatterjee. Look for it in 2022/2023.
In 2022, Naylor wrote and scored the feature film Hayseed (produced by NYC/LA-based American Bravado Films). Premiere and release details soon to be annouced.
Modern Jazz Today - ‘Xander Naylor: View Music as one of the World’s Greatest Treasures’
Secret Eclectic - ‘Xander Naylor: Blending Cultures Through Music’
The Music and Myth - ‘The possibilites of varied expression - guitarist and composer Xander Naylor presents Continuum’
Indulge Express - ‘American guitarist Xander Naylor embarks on a tour of India, prior to launching his new album’
Press for Continuum (2020)
"Each track on the album flows seamlessly into the next as we’re treated to ridiculous guitar work, snazzy horn sections, well thought out dynamic shifts as well as a juxtaposition of genres blending well together to create that signature Naylor sound." -Rolling Stone India
“Vast musical vistas.” - Jazz Trail
"Naylor's fluid compositions can feel like particularly frank discussions... [Continuum is] an album that simultaneously tweaks the mind and moves the body." - Seven Days VT
"Naylor represents the new breed of modern guitarists who have incorporated a randomized search engine’s variety of music into their style. In Naylor’s case that would include avant jazz, post-rock, and Indian classical music. The trick is to integrate these styles into more than a pastiche, a trick that this musician pulls off handily." - Guitar Moderne
Press for Transmission (2018)
“Transmission is full of interesting motives and transformations that demand your full attention. Somewhere between chamber music, jazz fusion, and progressive rock, Xander Naylor strikes the perfect blend on his album.” - Can This Even Be Called Music