Dr. Jordan Taylor
An eclectic performer with a culturally distinct program, Jordan uses his experience of living in Ghana for 15 years to create a dynamic and engaging performance experience for his audience. With a desire to positively influence lives through performance and education, Jordan has made it his personal goal to use music as a vehicle for global change – it was this desire that led him to create the Ghana National Music Festival (GNMF), the first classical music institute of its kind in Ghana.
As the founder and Artistic Director of the GNMF, Jordan is using his expertise and background to foster education through music. The GNMF is not only Ghana’s first all-instrument classical music festival, but also the first long-term collaboration in this field between Ghana and the United States. With a purpose of both promoting the arts within Ghana’s youth population and cultivating international collaboration, the GNMF has sparked the flames of a revolution in Ghana’s classical music culture and is setting the stage for artistic exchange between the two countries.
As a performer, Jordan seeks to create a captivating soundscape for his audience. Playing an instrument made from the wood of Ghana's forests, his program captures the diverse sounds of the West African griots - historian musicians known for their story telling abilities with the Harp-Lute. Jordan's combination of Western art music with traditional music from a variety of cultures has won praise from audiences around the world including the US, Ghana, and Europe. Jordan's unique talents have taken him to halls such as the Ataneo Theater in Madrid, Carnegie Hall, the Paris Conservatory, Rice University, Georgia State University, and the US Embassy of Ghana. A special highlight of Jordan's career was the performance of Ghana's first guitar concerto hosted by the University of Ghana in 2019.
As a testament to Jordan's dedication to education, current and former students have gone on to win first prizes at nationally recognized guitar competitions and have performed in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall. Students have also gone on to give various recitals throughout the US, France, and Ghana and GNMF cello and violin students have recently won positions on the roster of Ghana’s National Symphony – a unique and prestigious accolade for any performer.
In 2014 Jordan self-released his debut album “Sketches”. Recorded in the beautiful Legacy Hall, this album includes works by Weiss, Bach, Bennett, Legnani, and the title composition “Sketches of a Memory” for guitar and electronics by Jordan. Audience members have praised the album for its diverse programming, creativity, and virtuosity. Along with producing his own album, Jordan is active in the recording industry with engineering credits on the CSU Trombone Ensemble recording “A Beautiful Noise” released through Summit Records. This album was a three-year project that featured guest soloists such as Charlie Vernon, James Markey, and Joseph Alessi. Most recently Jordan was the mixing engineer and producer for the Sony Music recording “Angeline” by international star Justin Miller.
Jordan is a ten-time prize winner in competitions across the United States including: The Music Academy of North Carolina Guitar Festival and Competition, the McCauley Chamber Music Competition, the University of Southern Mississippi Guitar Competition, Southern Guitar Festival and Competition, and the Classical Minds International Guitar Competition. Most notably, Jordan was invited to perform as a finalist in the prestigious Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship Competition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Jordan received his Bachelor’s of Music Performance with a minor in Audio Technology from the Schwob School of Music under the direction of Dr. Andrew Zohn and Dr. Matthew McCabe respectively. He received his Master’s in Music from the University of Louisville with Dr. Stephen Mattinlgy, where he received the Graduate Dean’s Citation for Outstanding Professional Achievement. Most recently, Jordan earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music where he studied with world-renowned pedagogue, Julian Gray.