Al Di Meola: "I see a lot of young players online with such super-phenomenal technique – but very rarely do I see it in the framework of a composition"

Guitarist Al Di Meola performs on stage at The Magnolia on September 24, 2019 in El Cajon, California.
(Image credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

Best of 2022: Al Di Meola needs no introduction to the guitar-playing masses. His complex chordal figures, super speed-infused guitar solos, and six-string sonic intensity has influenced hordes of guitarists ever since Di Meola first burst upon the scene in 1974 as a 19-year-old guitarist for jazz fusion exponents Return To Forever.

But it was when he ventured out into a solo career that began with his 1976 debut outing, Land of the Midnight Sun, that Di Meola's Latin charged guitar mastery really began his ascension to the top of the guitar playing establishment, in turn cementing his reputation as one of the titans of the guitar world.

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Joe Matera

Joe Matera is an Australian guitarist and music journalist who has spent the past two decades interviewing a who's who of the rock and metal world and written for Guitar World, Total Guitar, Rolling Stone, Goldmine, Sound On Sound, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and many others. He is also a recording and performing musician and solo artist who has toured Europe on a regular basis and released several well-received albums including instrumental guitar rock outings through various European labels. Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera has called him, "... a great guitarist who knows what an electric guitar should sound like and plays a fluid pleasing style of rock." He's the author of Backstage Pass: The Grit and the Glamour.