For a PDF version of John's bio, click here
Winner of the 2002 National Fingerstyle Guitar Contest and open division winner of the 2004 International Home of the Legends Competition, John Standefer is a true master of fingerstyle guitar. He began playing the guitar in 1963, soon learning the Chet Atkins style by ear as well as studying music in a conservatory. These early accomplishments gave John a great start towards a career in music. By age 16, he had begun a lifetime as a professional guitarist and teacher. His musical interests continued to expand to include folk, pop, jazz and bossa nova music (among others). As a result, the guitar arrangements he has developed contain a surprisingly colorful blend of styles and genres.
Over his life John has traveled throughout the U.S. and abroad performing concerts, teaching master classes and instructing Christian guitarists through his highly acclaimed Praise Guitar Workshop. John currently performs and teaches yearly at such events as the Chet Atkins Convention in Nashville and the Christian Musician Summit in Seattle. He has also performed and/or recorded with many other guitar greats as well, including Tommy Emmanuel, John Knowles, Pat Kirtley, Guy Van Duser, Richard Smith and Doug Smith. John also writes regularly for Fingerstyle Guitar and Christian Musician magazines. Recently John was inducted into the Clark County Hall of Fame in Vancouver, Washington where he also teaches a limited number of private guitar lessons.
Besides these live appearances, John has produced numerous CDs, books, videos and TAB arrangements, which can be found on the 'store' page of this website. John's most recent recording, Guitar Cafe, explores beautiful melodies from around the world, including swing tunes, ballads, South American classics, Chet Atkins style tunes, a European waltz, a Hawaiian piece, a hymn and a new original piece.
Recently John was also honored by guitar maker Dave Bertoncini, who incorporated John's ideas into the development of the new 'John Standefer Signature Model' Bertoncini guitar.
The exceptional guitar music of John Standefer is enthusiastically received in both secular and Christian settings worldwide. Why not bring him to your area?
What Others Say
“John is a world class arranger of guitar music. Years of experience and mature musicianship have proven to be a winning combination.”
"You are one of the best fingerpickers in the world and I am happy to have brought you to France for both the Dunkerque and the Issoudun Guitar Festivals!"
“Guitar virtuoso John Standefer’s precise fingerpicking technique, intricate harmonics and warm performances reveal an intimacy and natural warmth that rarely comes through on bigger budgeted projects.”
"This is a tour de force album by John Standefer. Having assembled an A-list of special guest performers from the Chet Atkins Society, John has made a very credible instrumental CD. Add his Winfield winning tune, Man of Constant Sorrow, and you have it all!"
"I love John and his music dearly. He is such a good human being. We had great conversations about what life is all about and this brought us very near to each other. I will allways cherish this great weekend. And what a player he is! In the concert here he kept the crowd enthousiastic for hours!! He is so much better than I even thought he was and even better than he himself thinks he is."
On Guitar Workshops...
"Great word pictures and breakdown of music principles! An answer to prayer"
"It was like drinking from a fire hydrant!"
"John is a really excellent example of a teacher that meets everyone on their own ground. His down to earth sense of humor really takes the stress out of learning. Ideas and concepts I thought I’d never understand were spoken to me clearly for the first time."