Video: Alex Skolnick on Triads and Sweep Picking

Only one guitarist can claim to have an ongoing history with a thrash metal band and an album that debuted next to Dave Brubeck and Esperanza Spalding on iTunes jazz charts. That guitarist is Alex Skolnick.

A long-standing member of the Bay Area group Testament and, more recently, the leader of the jazz-oriented Alex Skolnick Trio, he is one of the guitar world's true bridges. One moment he may be shredding with Rodrigo y Gabriella, the next he may be composing a big-band piece for the Westminster Dog Show.

His bridge-building extends beyond just music. Skolnick became the producer for Acrassicauda - the Iraqi band featured in the documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad - in 2010. Two years later, he launched his ambitious "Planetary Coalition," a new world music project that aimed to bring together musicians of diverse backgrounds and musical vocabularies.

The lesson here may be about triads and sweep picking, but Alex's real curriculum is about something much deeper: celebrating all types of music and supporting the people who make it. That's something we can get behind.

Check out Alex Skolnick's website for more information on Alex Skolnick Trio's newest release, Live Unbound.

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