THE FIRST PLACE WINNER

THE SECOND PLACE WINNER

THE THIRD PLACE WINNER

AL JOSEPH AWARD WINNER

PLAYER OF EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS

Judging Process

10 semifinalists will be chosen by Ibanez, then, a winner and two second place players will be selected by Ibanez Signature Artist, Paul Gilbert. The winner will be announced on Aug. 1st, 2017.

Paul Gilbert

“From platinum album sales and number one chart success as a founding member of MR. BIG, to frightening the guitar community with new levels of ferocious picking technique with shred-pioneers RACER X, to exploring punk, pop, classical, blues, jazz, and progressive instrumental styles in his solo career, Paul Gilbert has recorded a massive amount of stunning guitar music, all while circling the globe to play sold-out arenas from Japan to Jakarta.

Paul's style stands out for its rare combination of accuracy, creativity, and power, all of which are balanced with Paul's sense of humor and pure love of music.

Although Paul is best known for his work with MR. BIG and RACER X, he has also toured with Joe Satriani's G3, played in a host of tribute concerts with legendary drummer Mike Portnoy, and been integral in the design of his signature Ibanez PGM and Fireman guitars.

Paul's legacy as a guitar instructor began when he was eighteen, when he was hired to teach at Hollywood's Guitar Institute of Technology. Paul's groundbreaking "Intense Rock" videos and DVDs have inspired legions of guitarists to improve their accuracy, speed, and phrasing. Years as a columnist for Guitar Player and Premier Guitar magazines, along with giving countless clinics, private lessons, and serving for five years as the dean of MI Japan, have given Paul deep experience in the art of communicating music to all levels of guitarists. Paul currently teaches at his Online Rock Guitar School at Artistworks to help guitarists everywhere improve their technique and musicality. And Paul's Great Guitar Escape music camp has allowed him to inspire students in a live VIP setting.”

PRIZES

    HEADLINER PRIZE

    One winner will receive an extremely rare RG 30th Anniversary Limited Edition j.custom RG30JCLTD guitar

Al Joseph

Guitarist, Composer

"Music transcends the need for words when the story lies deep within the instrumental movements themselves.”
Al Joseph was born in Highland Park, IL the first son of a Southern Caribbean father and Southern Baptist mother. When he was seven, the family moved to Scranton, PA where Al’s musical prowess began to emerge. His Dad, Al Sr., brought home a drum set so Al and his two younger brothers could begin their education in the musical traditions of their culture. With what would become a characteristic demonstration of natural talent combined with dedication and commitment, Al diligently practiced for hours upon hours every day. Motivated out of desperation, Al’s father Al Sr. presented him with his first student guitar and the rest, is History.
Al’s quest to give a “voice” to his personal exploration and expression strained against his cultural milieu as he found resonance with Progressive Metal and inspiration from Creed, Rage Against The Machine, P.O.D, Pillar, Pantera, and Sevendust. From the lyrical texture of Jimi Hendrix, BB King, George Benson, Albert King to the overall musical prowess of Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Andy Timmons, Steve Vai, and Greg Howe, Al formed his style and openly pays homage.

Al began his Professional Career as the lead guitarist and singer for the Progressive Metal band, “The Great Gamble”. Their debut album “Book One” caught the attention of Jan Cyrka, legendary artist and founder of Jam Track Central. Jam Track Central works with some of the world’s best guitarists and teachers to provide its members with a depth and range of guitar playing knowledge and technical understanding. The JTC catalogue includes original artist jam tracks, online lessons and full album backing packages covering many music genres including rock, metal, blues, fusion and jazz. The artists and teachers are highly respected world-renowned players including Guthrie Govan, Alex Hutchings, Andy James, Jack Thammarat, Marco Sfogli, Kiko Loureiro, Jeff Loomis and many more. After their very first meeting Jan invited Al to join the Team.

In 2013 JTC released Al’s debut solo instrumental album, “Out In The Open”. Speaking to a new generation of Progressive Metal music connoisseurs, “Out In The Open”, received instant international recognition. In 2016 Al relocated to Los Angeles, California and began work on his second Solo Album All of Creation with JTC, which is now available on iTunes and all other platforms. Featuring some of the world’s most fierce shredders from guitar to violin, All of Creation” keeps its roots firmly planted as it intones the voice of the Millennials.