All that jazz
Local guitarist thanks his influences via solo album
by Vanessa Cruz
Reporter Staff Writer
Sep 30, 2012 | 3497 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
COVER - On Riverside Drive, which took Monroe Quinn one year to finalize. 
(Courtesy of Doug Barron)
view slideshow (3 images)

North Bergen resident Monroe Quinn has released his second CD, On Riverside Drive. The CD is an homage to the people that have made an impact in his life both musically and personally.

Growing up, Quinn’s household was filled with musical notes. His father played drums, mother the violin, and brother Alan the trumpet. He is still in a musical home to this day, as his wife Ivana Kunc sings classical and Broadway music.

“I guess we just gravitate toward each other,” said Quinn last week. “I definitely feel that growing up in a household that was supportive of music and of me had a very positive effect.”

He remembers his exposure to rock, pop, swing music yet his interest veered towards jazz.

“I was always exposed to music,” said Quinn. “I was obsessed with [jazz]….”

His father started Quinn’s musical career by teaching him cords on the piano at the young age of 3. Once he got the chords down, he and his dad would volunteer their musical abilities at local nursing homes. Quinn soon transitioned to playing the guitar at age 11.

Jazz sparked his interest with songs like “Eruption” by Eddie Van Halen and music involving guitar player Andres Segovia. Two of his jazz influences are Remo Palmier and Wes Montgomery, who he considers the best guitar player of all time.
“It would be nice for me to play for the community.” - Monroe Quinn
He studied for over 10 years with jazz guitarist Remo Palmier after his brother’s bandmate, Bob McCoy, recommended Quinn to Palmier.

“I am convinced that he is a musician of integrity and dedication,” Palmier recently said of Quinn. “He has a decided talent for writing a melodic jazz line that lasts.”

Quinn said, “Remo was so humble and so magnificent..., a phenomenal guitar player. Besides my family, [Palmier] has been the biggest influence on me. [Palmier] really was my music school and I still work on things he gave me.”

Jazz record
On Riverside Drive was named after the street in New York where Palmier taught him lessons. The CD was released on Aug. 7. This is his first solo guitar recording and took him a year to create.

For his first recording, I’ll Dream of You, released in 1997, he played with a band. The new CD is solo, and includes more original songs.

His latest CD is a celebration for the people who have inspired Quinn’s life, either personally or musically. Track 5, Blues a la Remo, is an homage to his former music teacher Remo Palmier. Track 6, A Song for Joy, was written for his wife who’s middle name is Joy. Track 7, By George, was inspired by George Harrison, lead guitarist for the Beatles. Track 8, Precious, was written for his cat and begins classically, transitioning into a bossa nova that is Brazilian.

People thanked on On Riverside Drive are Pat Metheny, Julian Bream, his favorite English teacher Donald Delo, and his brother.

“It’s a jazz album,” said Quinn. “But on songs like ‘By George’ and ‘A Song For Joy’ you don’t have to look too far to hear rock or classical influences. And I think that’s a good thing!”

“It’s a musical ‘thank you’ to some of the people I am grateful for,” said Quinn in his biography.

On the CD he plays the electric, acoustic, and 12- string guitar.

These days, Quinn also plays the guitar and banjo with a group called “Dr. Dubious”.

Over the years he has performed with artists such as Billy Preston, Micky Dolenz of “The Monkees,” and Denny Laine from “Wings” to name a few.

Quinn said he’d like to bring his music closer to home, perhaps at The North Bergen Public Library.

“It would be nice for me to play for the community,” said Quinn.

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Vanessa Cruz can be reached at

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