Roland Balogh was born in Budapest, Hungary. He began playing guitar at the age of 6, initially guided by his father and later by a private teacher. He took lessons from the famous Hungarian jazz guitarist Gyula Babos. In 2007 he received his high level diploma as jazz guitarist.
In 2009 Roland won the 1st prize at the “Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition,” whose jury was chaired by Lee Ritenour.
In 2010 in Völklingen, Germany, he won the 1st prize again at the International Competition “Voice and Guitar”. In the same year in March he received the scholarship “Dezső Ablakos Lakatos” and in November he was awarded the Junior Prima Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in Hungary.
In 2012 he won the 1st place again at the Jazzy Radio’s song writing competition with his band “Finucci Bros Quartet”.
In 2015 Roland won the 2nd prize at the Wes Montgomery Jazz Guitar Competition in New York, the chair of the Jury was Pat Martino.
Roland’s latest success in his career was achieved in 2016 by winning the 1st place like the grand prize winner at the Six String Theory Jazz Guitar competition in Los Angeles. The members of the jury were among the greatest jazz guitarists of the world such as Pat Martino, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Lee Ritenour and Nir Felder.
Roland has performed with many of the jazz elite like Matthew Garrison, Melvin Lee Davis, and Lee Ritenour.
Roland has also played at the Montreux Jazz Festival before the Paco de Lucia Band, and in the Blue Note Tokyo with Lee Ritenour, as well as several other famous Jazz Clubs and Festivals.
I’ve had the pleasure of hearing and evaluating some exceptional guitarists, and one that repetitively comes to mind is Roland Balogh. I suggest for those of you who are seriously interested, to add this gentleman on your list of formidable upcoming guitarists, and watch what happens. – Pat Martino
“I first heard Roland at the Montreux Jazz Festival International Guitar competition in 2009. He won 1st prize that year. One of the qualities that impresses me the most about Roland’s playing is his continuing development with his own unique & recognizable jazz guitar style. I also hear in his playing qualities that evoke all the modern approaches to the jazz guitar but at the same time pulls out influences that evoke memories of legends Joe Pass, Barney Kessel, Tal Farlow & others. He is forging ahead but not afraid to pay homage to those early greats. Roland is destined to be a great voice in modern jazz guitar & continues this journey with his latest project…” – Lee Ritenour
Roland performs on a Custom Translucent Black Bravo Deluxe model (with an B-6 black pickup).
Photography by Norbert Aranyosi.