Xander Naylor


Xander Naylor is a guitarist, improviser, and composer living in New York City, who gathers the vocabularies and core energetic forces of avant jazz, post-rock, and Indian classical music, into a singular new sound, described by The Critical Masses as “a language all his own.” Rooted firmly in the culturally-rich NYC music scene, his music has brought him to perform all over the world, including the South by Southwest Festival (Austin, Texas, USA), Assomniak Festival (Brest, France), and the Chhandayan Annual Concert (Kolkata, India).  Born of his own spiritual journey, and deep study of multiple Eastern and Western traditions, Naylor’s music gives vital breath to the most fundamental questions we face today as a culture, and as human beings. Naylor is a ground-breaking guitarist, and a fearless searcher, forging new techniques, extended sounds, and employing rhythmic acrobatics, all in service of a visceral experience which fosters and promotes greater understanding.

In addition to maintaining a career as a performer, Naylor is an established educator, with a specialty in promoting understanding in crossing between Western and Indian musical languages.  In 2008 he began an ongoing relationship with tabla maestro Samir Chatterjee, with whom he has studied the music of India, adapting its sounds and techniques onto the guitar and within the Western styles of rock, pop, and jazz.  He currently teaches at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (NYC), while also teaching private students and conducting workshops. He has performed and conducted workshops throughout the NYC area, including at Columbia University, Drew University, The New School, Manhattan School of Music, and Chhandayan Center for Indian Music.

Naylor’s upcoming album, Continuum, featuring all-new compositions which are all about breaking through the barriers of digital screens and facing others eye-to-eye, as well as facing the problematic discourses of our time with the knowledge that “there still are people who still stand for respect and the ideal of common good.” Sound Machine’s current lineup, Elijah Shiffer (alto saxophone), Nicholas Jozwiak (electric bass), and Raphael Pannier (drums), seasoned from two years of touring, joins with Naylor on this spiritual and musical mission. Continuum also features an all-star lineup of some of today’s most sought after voices, including  Alec Spiegelman (baritone sax), Alex Asher (trombone), Angelica Bess (vocals), Cole Kamen-Green (trumpet), and Sarah Pedinotti (vocals). These superb musicians have toured the world, studied many of its musical cultures, and recorded with such diverse acts as Beyonce, Boy George & Culture Club, Lorde, Okkervill River, Anais Mitchell, Samir Chatterjee, Tyshawn Sorey, and Peter Evans. Continuum is the ultimate invitation into Xander Naylor’s unfettered vision of the spiritual and physical worlds that music can embody.

"Some of the most refreshingly unhinged guitar recorded in this century."

- New York Music Daily

“Xander Naylor’s tune ‘Ghost Logic’ blends a quirky Schoenberg-esque string section with the dramatic electronic flair of Frank Zappa, jazz drumming, howling voices, and searing electric guitar… it is refreshing to see cross-stylistic fusion done in such a novel and sincere way.”

- Composer’s Toolbox

“Xander Naylor pushes the boundaries of jazz and rock on his new album Transmission. While most virtuosos are reluctant to share the spotlight, Naylor gives his fellow musicians ample opportunity to step forward. Holding back has given his compositions a wider perspective to explore neo-classical themes. Transmission is part Jim Hall, part Stravinsky...and part Frank Zappa in his orchestral mode. It's a treasure trove of musical ideas that will require many listens to discover all the gems.”

- Hans Werksman (Here Comes The Flood)

“Xander Naylor explores the nooks and crannies of some of the hardest listening, making it more approachable and attractive to the casual listener.”

- Nolan Parker (Schmutz Berlin)

“Transmission is full of interesting motives and transformations that demand your full attention. Somewhere between chamber music, jazz fusion, and progressive rock, Xander Naylor strikes the perfect blend on his album.”

- Daev Tremblay (Can This Even Be Called Music)