Art Herttua has been playing guitar for more than thirty years. Initially a classical guitar student, Art fell in love with the lyrical sound of jazz guitarist Harry Leahey, a legendary teacher who happened to live in the neighborhood. In his twenties, while living in New Jersey, Art became a student of Harry, the double Grammy award winner, known as the “Buddha of Jazz Guitar.”
After Leahey’s premature death, Art sought out new teachers, and was lucky enough to find Bob Devos, who had also been a student of Harry’s. Both Bob and Harry were students of the legendary teacher Dennis Sandole, who taught jazz greats from John Coltrane, to Jim Hall, Michael Brecker and Pat Martino. Lessons with Bob Devos went all afternoon.
By this time Art was the owner of a bike shop and was leading bike trips around the world, and always with a guitar. (Perhaps the only time “Moonlight in Vermont” and “Autumn Leaves” have been performed at over 15,000 feet in the Himalayas.) Art’s love of the mountains brought him to Vermont, where he has been living– and playing guitar– since 1994.
Art’s repertoire includes familiar jazz standards as well as original music, weaving melodies, rhythms and harmonies into an intimate lyrical voice. Herttua has performed solo at local venues Healthy Living, Radio Bean, Bagito’s and Three Stallion Inn, and is searching for more music lovers who can appreciate his unique sound.
Art’s ability to simultaneously comp chords and improvise single-string melodies, creating the illusion of two guitarists playing together. His jazz-oriented style often engages listeners who thought they didn’t like jazz.