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Jazz Guitarist Balmer At Hobart’s

When you think of celebrated Northwest musicians, it’s generally the rock artists or groups with commercial potential that garner all the acclaim.

In the mainstream, jazz players like Portland’s Dan Balmer are often outshone. But in contemporary jazz, Balmer, who plays Hobart’s tonight and Saturday, is among the genre’s most significant guitarists.

The artist, who frames vibrant and silky soundscapes with melodic and fluid guitar virtuosity, has produced four albums on his own, including 1989’s “Becoming Became,” 1990’s “Don’t Forget the Way Home” and 1994’s “I Hope So.”

Balmer is also known for his work with prominent keyboardist Tom Grant. Together the two collaborated on ten albums, all of which released by seminal jazz label Verve. In addition, the guitarist collaborated on a variety of other projects with groups like Hearing Voices and Tall Jazz.

The L.A. Times sums up Balmer’s talents best, noting that Balmer is “the model of what a contemporary guitarist should be.”

His trio includes keyboardist George Mitchell, who played a stint with Diana Ross, and drummer Carlton Jackson. Mitchell appears on all four of Balmer’s solo albums.

Music starts at 9 p.m. on both nights. The cover is $6.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo