Monroe Quinn began playing professionally at the age of thirteen as part of a musical family that included his father, Joe, a drummer, and his brother, Alan, an exceptional trumpeter, whose own big band would rehearse in their living room. The youngest Quinn fell in love with the guitar when he heard Andrés Segovia play Bach and Eddie Van Halen thrill with his masterpiece, Eruption.
Monroe studied for over ten years with jazz guitar great Remo Palmier, who recorded with well-known artists such as Charlie Parker and Barbra Streisand. Before his death in 2002, Palmier said of Quinn, “I have known guitarist Monroe Quinn for some time, and am convinced that he is a musician of integrity and dedication. ... He has a decided talent for writing a melodic jazz line that lasts.”
Quinn’s first CD, I’ll Dream of You, which includes the talents of pianist Derek Smith, was featured on 88.3 FM WBGO radio and chosen as one of the “highlights of the year” on their program, “Jazz from the Archives.” Radio host, author, and Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies Senior Archivist Vincent Pelote said of Monroe, “I’ve heard him play live and he’s fantastic.”
Over the years, Monroe Quinn has performed with artists such as Billy Preston, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, Neil Innes, Joey Mallond of Badfinger, and Denny Laine from Wings and The Moody Blues.
For his second recording as leader, Monroe chose the intimate setting of solo guitar, with no overdubs and minimal editing. A celebration of inspirational people, both personal and musical, On Riverside Drive features ten original jazz compositions played on electric, acoustic, and 12-string guitar.
Monroe is profiled in the book, The Jazz Guitar: It’s Evolution, Players and Personalities Since 1900, written by Maurice J. Summerfield and published by Ashley Mark. Author Summerfield hailed him as “...one of the most promising jazz guitar talents of the 1990s.”
Quinn’s own transcriptions of solos by Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, and others have been published by the Hal Leonard Corporation.
In addition to his work as arranger, studio musician, and solo guitarist, Monroe is a member of The Alan Quinn Orchestra, The Cast of Beatlemania (portraying the role of George Harrison), in an acoustic duo with bassist Dave Dreiwitz (Ween/JRAD), and the traditional jazz ensemble, Dr. Dubious, for which Monroe plays tenor banjo and acoustic guitar.