John Moulder

Certified Private Instructor

John Moulder is a guitarist and composer whose music has evolved from an assimilation of various musical traditions. His most recent release entitled Earthborn Tales of Soul and Spirit (Origin 2016) features Donny McCaslin, Marquis Hill, Paul Wertico and many other long time musical companions. Inspired by soulful individuals, it has been described as a contemporary musical narrative. Earthborn Tales was a featured performance for the 2014 Made in Chicago concert series in Millennium Park. John’s compositions and playing are featured on his CDs entitled Awakening (Mo-Tonal Records 1993), Through the Open Door (Igmod/Mo-Tonal Records 1997), Spirit Talk (NAIM 2003), and Trinity (Origin 2006) and Bifrost

(Origin 2009) both named one of the ten best jazz CDs of 2006 and 2009 respectively by the Chicago Tribune. On The Eleventh Hour: Live at the Green Mill (Origin 2012), John collaborates with his long time musical companions, Paul Wertico, Larry Gray, Jim Trompeter and Geof Bradfield. John has been a member of the Paul Wertico Trio for fifteen years. Recordings with Paul include Live in Warsaw (Igmod Records 1998), Don’t Be Scared Anymore (Premonition Records 2000), Stereonucleosis (A440 2004) and The Other Side (NAIM 2006) and is on Impressions of a City (Chicago Sessions 2009) by Paul Wertico’s Mid East and Mid West Alliance.John is also a member of the Larry Gray Trio and is featured on his recordings on the Chicago Sessions label entitled 1,2,3 and Three Equals One. In addition he has played on recordings by vocalist Jackie Allen such as The Men in My Life (Blue Note 2003), Love is Blue (Blue Note 2004), Tangled (Blue Note 2006), as well as her most recent release with orchestra entitled Starry Night.Televised feature stories on John and his work have aired on Artbeat (WTTW) and Chicago Tonight (WTTW).He has played nationally and internationally at numerous festivals, clubs and concert halls and has performed with artists such as Eddie Harris, Bob Mintzer, Paul McCandless, Lyle Mays, Paul Wertico, Gary Burton, Niels Orsted Pederson, Arild Anderson, Bendik Hofseth, Kurt Elling and Terry Callier. John received his Masters degree in music from Northwestern University. As an educator, he is currently a faculty member at Northwestern University, Benedictine University and the College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He has lectured, taught master classes and conducted clinics at universities, high schools, music institutes and other settings.


After 30 years of private teaching and 15 years of university teaching, I have come to appreciate that each student brings their unique self with musical strengths and areas for growth, as well as their own goals which shape the direction that our lessons take. I continue to evolve as a player, and a teacher and share that with my students.While I seek to share aspects I believe are essential for developing musicians, I also work to tailor my approach to the specific needs of the student. I have had students from beginners to working professionals, of all different backgrounds and abilities, and feel energized to teach each of them and find inroads to their development as a musician and as a guitarist.There are many online videos and learning tools to assist the developing musician today which provide different approaches to guitar and musical perspectives that are beneficial. However it is also my experience that it is the rare student who flourishes on that alone. A teaching relationship with someone who has both a depth and breadth of musical background who tracks the student’s progress, and who can affirm and challenge the student in constructive ways is an essential component in a student’s musical growth. I seek to provide this in a climate of support and acceptance for each of my students.