Ralph Towner is one of the masters of 12-string and classical guitar. He owes his renown mostly to his work with Weather Report, Paul Winter Consort, and Oregon, with whom he performed in the 1986 edition of the Festival. Born into a musical family in Chenalis, Washington in 1940, Towner studied composition at the University of Oregon, and later classical guitar in Vienna. In the 1960s he moved to New York City, joined Paul Winter Consort and in 1971 formed influential avant-garde jazz group Oregon, along with three Consort bandmates. On the forefront of groundbreaking minimalistic jazz for the last 30 years, Ralph Towner's influence has yet to be surpassed. In 2010, Towner released Chiaroscuro, an album recorded with legendary Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu.