Photo: Levon Henry


Tom Csatari is an active composer, arranger, and guitarist for various projects in New York City, and has presented his compositions and songs at such venues as (le) Poisson Rouge, Barbès, Shapeshifter Lab, Rockwood Music Hall, Cornelia St. Café, the Wassaic Project Festival, and others. His debut full-length album — entitled “Uncivilized” — was released by Tiny Montgomery Records in 2014 and the chamber-ensemble follow up “Outro Waltz” was released a year later. His big band “Uncivilized” was reviewed in The New York Times on October 30th, 2015, with the headline: “Uncivilized Defies Conventionality in Concert”.



b. 1988 in Dallas, Texas, American guitarist, composer, arranger, and environmentalist Tom Csatari (pronounced chu•tar•ee), is a North-South guitar slinger, having been raised for 10 years in Texas, and for 9 in New Hampshire before finding a home in New York City at age 19. Csatari (a Hungarian surname from his grandfather) is distantly related to Gabor Szabo, and spent time studying with Attila Zoller’s heir-apparent Draa Hobbs in Woodstock, Vermont during high school. Csatari’s own sounds reference the raw, folky, vagabond styles of these Hungarian-American jazz guitarists, especially their work with the Chico Hamilton Quintet. Additionally, Csatari apprenticed with metal guitarist Joshua Hall in New Hampshire, and — in New York — studied jazz guitar with Peter Bernstein and Steve Cardenas; composition with Ben Allison; and Alexander Technique with Caren Bayer. Combined, these influences and mentors helped Csatari hone in on his own unique sound, which combines ringing chords, twangy post-bop lines (played mostly with his thumb or sometimes with a bottle-neck slide), and a penchant for the more folkloric and avant-garde jazz sects. Csatari received a dual-degree from the New School, meeting many musicians there along the way (including fellow folk/jazz aficionado Levon Henry), but switched to the Environmental Studies program after his second year, creating a side career out of auditing trash and writing recycling reports. He currently resides by the water in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where he is writing a book on open-string guitar chords and leads his 10-piece Uncivilized band alongside other sideman work.