One of the great multi-genre guitarists revered in rock, blues and jazz circles, Melvin Taylor is a self-taught master influenced by ax pioneers Albert King, Jimmy Reed, Wes Montgomery and Jimi Hendrix. He has appeared on the same ticket with Carlos Santana, George Benson, Al DiMeola and Chick Corea; and can count among his fans Mick Jagger and Patty LaBelle.

The volcanic guitarist is based in Chicago, getting his international breakthrough with Pinetop Perkins and The Legendary Blues Band in a year-long European tour. He has returned to Europe with his own group, opening for B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Santana, among others.

Taylor’s virtuoso guitar style and breathtaking solos inhabit his original songs as well as great rock, jazz and blues classics. He’s even tackled  Beethoven's Fifth. His love of music shines through on his newest release, last year’s “Taylor Made, Starring Melvin Taylor,” which mixes fluid jazz, blues, rock and soul.

Taylor has been on the road a lot of late, but that’s nothing new; he first came to Rockland in the 1980s, performing with Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang. Taylor last played the festival in 2000, performing on the old Fishermen’s Memorial stage. He performs with his Slack Band, whose members are no slackers when it comes to playing the blues.