Before joining forces in 2009, both Ryan and Jerry had been active in the Michigan music scene. Jerry was born in Detroit in 1960, and as a teenager had become an active player in Detroit’s burgeoning jazz scene. Enthralled with the music, he pursued Jazz Studies at Wayne State University, and guitar under the direction of jazz guitarist William Leavitt at the Berklee College of Music. Well versed in variety of musical genres, including, jazz, country, big band and rock, Jerry performed with dozens of midwestern bands and singers before embarking on a career in business. Now focused solely on music, Jerry is delighted to perform with his youngest son, “I have a great time playing with Ryan. Our ability to read each other and understand where we are going with a piece of music and interact and play with each other is really special.” The Duo schedules approximately 150 performance dates per year.
It should come as no surprise, growing up surrounded by his father’s guitar playing and love of music, that Ryan would inherit Jerry's enthusiasm. When Ryan and Jerry formed the Younce Guitar Duo they discovered that their different musical backgrounds and approaches were complimentary.
"Their sets are always so beautifully crafted with intricate melodies that create an intimate experience. Their warm, soulful sound is always accessible and consistently strong and energetic." John Dow Williams, Owner of Johnny's Speakeasy, Ann Arbor
"…..a couple guitar wizards who blitzed our audience with awe inspiring riffs!" Anthony Williams, Owner Freshwater Concert Venue
" A Younce Guitar Duo performance takes listeners on a musical journey colored by influences of Jazz, Gypsy Guitar, Flamenco, Latin and other World Music. This father and son collaboration creates music that both moves and exhilarates!," Rebecca Glotfelty, Owner Cycling Salamander Art Gallery and Concert Venue.
(Further Background Material for Press Releases)
An instrumental duo, Jerry Younce and his son, Ryan, perform acoustic improvisational music that is heavily influenced by jazz, gypsy guitar, flamenco and other world music, including Celtic and Latin rhythms.
The Younce Guitar Duo was formed in 2008, when Ryan invited his father to join him for a gig he had booked at Short’s Brewery in Bellaire, Michigan. The joy and enthusiasm they have while playing their music is infectious, and their relaxed yet energetic manner is a testament to their musicianship. The duo easily wins over audiences with the dynamic sounds of their richly layered guitar work, and the sense of warmth and community at their shows explains why a large portion of their audience will regularly travel around the area to see them perform.
The father-son bond that Jerry and Ryan share has been instrumental in shaping their unique sound. Jerry says, “I have a great time playing with Ryan. Our ability to read each other and understand where we are going with a piece of music and interact and play with each other is really special.” Jerry’s admiration for his son is apparent on stage, and the feeling is mutual. Ryan credits his dad for much of his musical inspiration, saying “Of course my father was an influence. When you're 14 and struggling with a piece of music and your dad can play anything, you're always striving for that.” Before joining forces as a duo, both Ryan and Jerry had been active in the music scene in Michigan. Jerry was born in Detroit, and as a teenager had become an active player in Detroit’s burgeoning jazz scene. Enthralled with the music, he pursued Jazz Studies at Wayne State University, and guitar under the direction of jazz guitarist William Leavitt at the Berklee College of Music. In addition to being a studio musician in Detroit, Jerry played the Midwest resort circuit for a couple years. During his tours, he discovered that many of the Midwest’s best show bands were playing Brownwood Acres, a charming resort on the shores of Torch Lake. Eventually Jerry moved to northern Michigan and became a member of the resort’s band, and spent his time playing with the many touring musicians and vocalists. After his son, Jesse, was born, the demandsof raising a new family and the early success of one, and then another, new business venture slowly led Jerry in the direction of other opportunities. But music always remained a central part of Jerry’s life, and he introduced his sons, Jesse and the younger, Ryan, to music as soon as they were born. “My father was and is quite literally music,” says Jesse. “It encompasses his entire being. He was always making music.” It should come as no surprise, growing up surrounded by their father’s guitar playing and love of music, that the boys would inherit Jerry’s enthusiasm. Early on, Ryan and Jesse began to play in an indie rock band, and then later formed the alternative rock band, Escanaba Firing Line, in 2002. Though the music that the boys were playing was quite different from the music that their father had been playing when he was theirage, when Ryan and Jerry formed the Younce Guitar Duo they discovered that their different musical backgrounds and approaches were complimentary. Ryan explains, “It really is a fusion of all these sounds from the cultural places around the world. Jazz from America, Latin America and some Celtic sounds get flirted with.” These sounds and influences, adopted and nurtured by Jerry and Ryan throughout their careers, have become their own. Their rich guitar stylings, with their highly sculpted and textured rhythms and melodies, are pleasing and accessible to audiences of all ages.