Julian Lage breathes life into music and breathes music into life.

With his guitar, he conveys a multitude of emotional expressions and levels of feeling. He’s able to articulate all of this so directly that it feels like there’s an intuitive connection between the artist, the instrument, and the listener. Perhaps there always has been.

Born in 1987, Lage is a former child prodigy who first came to prominence as a professional guitarist at the age of only eight. He performed at the Grammy Awards at age 12, and he became a faculty member of the Stanford Jazz Workshop at 15. Lage has contributed to numerous recording projects as a sideman for the likes of Gary Burton, John Zorn, Terri Lyne Carrington, Nels Cline and Charles Lloyd. In 2009, he made his debut as a leader with Sounding Point. Since then, he has recorded 11 albums full of expression and collaboration.

No matter the project, Lage’s care, respect and inspired awareness is infused in every note of every track of every album. Out of his impressively extensive body of work in just more than a decade as a leader, these five albums stand out among the best examples of Julian Lage’s artistry.