Gabor Szabo Biography
An influential jazz guitarist, famous for mixing jazz, pop-rock and his native Hungarian music.
Inspired by jazz music heard on Voice of America radio broadcasts, Szabó began playing guitar at the age of 14.
Escaping Hungary in 1956 and moving to the United States where he attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston.
In 1958, he was invited to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival. Szabó then went on to perform with the quintet of Southern California drummer Chico Hamilton from 1961 to 1965.
Beginning in 1966 he recorded a well-received span of albums under his own name on the Impulse! label. In the late 1960s he co-founded the short-lived Skye Records label along with Cal Tjader and Gary McFarland. Later he signed with Blue Thumb Records and CTI Records.
Gábor Szabó died in Budapest in February, 1982 from liver and kidney disease while on a visit to his homeland.