The Interviewer - Ace Batacan (a.k.a. Eiko)
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Guitarist Ace Batacan

Born and raised in the Philippines, Ace had music all around him. He had the usual mandatory piano lessons while growing up. When he was 11, Ace started playing in a band as a drummer and singer, performing mostly 60’s and 70’s music. Through his high school and college days, he started playing the guitar and became fairly proficient with it.

Coming to the United States in 1975, Ace was even more exposed to all different types of music. He became interested in the wonderful fingerstyle guitar playing of Earl Klugh and James Taylor. Ace studied and played their styles as best he could. Then in 1982, his teacher recommended that he take lessons from someone else and got him in touch with Tuck Andress. Tuck (half of the world-renowned Tuck and Patti duo) was an up-and-coming fingerstyle jazz guitarist then but already popular with the jazz circle in the San Francisco area. This opened the door to Ace’s music experiences. Studying with Tuck for 6 years, he learned different playing techniques.

Through those years, Ace sang and played fingerstyle guitar and bass for a jazz quartet that did casual gigs. He also studied bass guitar techniques with former Santana bassist Myron Dove. After moving to the Los Angeles area in 1987, Ace ended up playing in various musical settings: bass for a three piece rock and roll band, solo acoustic guitar and vocal, and fingerstyle guitar backing up a female singer.

After 10 years in L.A., he and his wife (Rowena) moved back to the SF Bay Area. Wanting to expand his abilities on acoustic guitar, Ace started concentrating strictly on fingerstyle guitar playing. He became a member of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS), which holds one of the largest fingerstyle workshop/performance conventions in the country every July. Ace currently works with Morris Acoustic Guitars of Japan in their efforts to promote their wonderful fingerstyle guitars. He is also an active member of the Collings Guitar Forum and has done exclusive interviews for us that have been published on our website.

Ace just finished recording his first CD project, due out in March, 05. He recorded this with the help of great fingerstyle player Pete Huttlinger in Nashville. Pete makes a guest appearance and so does guitarist extraordinaire Jim Nichols.

Please visit Ace’s website:


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