Gyan Riley

guitarist and composer

"Beautiful and enigmatic"..."an alluringly intimate vibe created from the first note."
-The New York Times -

Gyan won his first guitar in a raffle when he was 12 years old, and it soon became difficult for his parents to wrestle it from his hands. He first immersed himself in classical guitar, gaining a scholarship to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and winning a handful of competitions. In his twenties he turned to composition, and has since written music for the Kronos Quartet, New Music USA, the Carnegie Hall Corporation, the American Composers Forum, the New York Guitar Festival and documentary film makers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. He has performed with Zakir Hussain, Lou Reed, John Zorn, Bill Frisell, the Kronos Quartet, Lee Ranaldo (of Sonic Youth), Devendra Banhart, Julian Lage, Nico Muhly, Glenn Kotche, the San Francisco Symphony, and his father, the renowned composer Terry Riley. Lately Gyan has been touring a lot with Grammy Award-winning singer Arooj Aftab. Gyan has seven of his own CD titles and dozens of collaborative recordings, and is currently working on his eighth solo album. He is engaged as the 2023/24 Lou Harrison House Composer in Residence in Joshua Tree, CA.

“Gyan Riley is a one-man American-music machine, amicably ranging across the fields of jazz, world music, and post- minimalism." (The New Yorker)

photo by Laura Giannone