Full Name: Attila Cornelius Zoller

Born on June 13th, 1927 at Visegrád, Ungarn

Attila Zoller was the first guitarist who discovered the free jazz and was also called as one of the innovators of modern jazz guitar.

AttilaZoller - Jazz Guitarist
AttilaZoller - Jazz Guitarist

Zoller’s father was a a professional violinist , who taught him classical violin. Zollers started playing guitar professionally with Budapest jazz clubsduring the time of Second World War. In 1948 Vienna, Attilla Zoller formed a jazz group with the accordionist and vibraphonist Vera Auer. Zoller moved to Germany in 1954, where he played with pianist Jutta Hipp, saxophonist Hans Koller and trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff.

Visiting American musicians Oscar Pettiford and Lee Konitz admired Zoller's work and encouraged him to move to the U.S. in 1959 after winning a scholarship to the Lenox School of Jazz. Zoller studied with Jim Hall and roomed with Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry, whose influence sparked Zoller's interest in free jazz.

Zoller also played in drummer Chico Hamilton's group in 1960, with Benny Goodman and with flutist Herbie Mann from 1962-1965. Attila Zoller in 1965, started a free jazz-influenced group with the pianist Don Friedman, and in 1968 co-led a group with Konitz and Mangelsdorff.

Zoller played and recorded with Tony Scott, Stan Getz, Red Norvo, Jimmy Raney, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Shirley Scott, Cal Tjader and many more. Attila Zoller was a renowned teacher and founding president of the Vermont Jazz Center (since 1985). In 1995, Zoller received the New England Foundation for the Arts Achievement Award for his lifelong musical contribution to jazz.

Zoller also designed  some musical instruments; he patented a bi-directional pickup for guitars in 1971 and helped his design with own signature line of guitars with different companies.Later in 1998, January 25 he died in Townshend, Vermont.