2024 Targhee Music Camp Instructor Bios

Ben Garnett – Guitar


Ben Garnett is a guitarist, composer, arranger, and music educator based in Nashville, Tennessee. Known for his cross-genre pursuits and versatility, Ben finds deep inspiration in a wide range of musicians, from jazz greats like Jim Hall and Django Reinhardt, to masters of acoustic music like Tony Rice and Edgar Meyer, to highly expressive rock players like Jeff Beck and David Gilmour, contributing to an honest and personal style that craftily blends many traditions.

Born 1994 in Dallas/Fort Worth, Garnett studied jazz at the University of North Texas, majoring in jazz guitar performance (2016). Halfway through his studies, however, Garnett discovered a new calling. “I stumbled on this world of contemporary acoustic music and quickly went down a rabbit hole,” Garnett says. Soon, Garnett was chasing the music of Tony Rice, David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, Edgar Meyer, Strength in Numbers, Punch Brothers, Väsen, Grant Gordy, and more.

“It felt like a light switch,” says Garnett. “This was music at the nexus of jazz, bluegrass, singer-songwriter, classical, old-time, world-folk, that so clearly merged an array of values. These musicians were communicating things I had been craving in music from as early as I can remember. It was a calling, I knew from then on I wanted to be an acoustic musician.”

Perhaps the most profound influence on Garnett’s playing and musical sensibility was none other than his future producer, Chris Eldridge—particularly Eldridge’s two acoustic collaborations with jazz guitar virtuoso Julian Lage, Avalon (2014) and Mount Royal (2017). “It’s sort of unexplainable,” Garnett recalls. “It was so profound to me how much genuine joy was being immediately transmitted through the music. And at no loss to sheer virtuosity, dense compositions, and mind blowing improvisation.”