Born in Germany in 1970, Teja Gerken began his journey on the guitar at the age of six and became a serious student of the instrument after his family moved to California in the mid 80s. By the time he graduated from college with a B.A. in Art & Society, he had experimented with a wide variety of musical styles, and it became clear that his own instrumental voice was found in playing the acoustic variety of the instrument. Today, Teja Gerken is no stranger to those familiar with contemporary steel-string fingerstyle guitar. Weaving together influences of folk, jazz, classical, and world music into a style that is uniquely his own, Gerkens playing reflects his diverse musical interests. While many of his composition employ alternate tunings, two-handed tapping, percussive effects, and other extended guitar techniques, others simply rely on his keen sense of melody and movement. Within this framework, Gerken has created a repertoire that appeals to fellow guitarists as well as to listening audiences, and while original material is his main focus, he can also be found playing Irish traditionals, jazz standards, or improvising on themes by classical composers. An active participant in the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area acoustic music scene, Gerken is a regular performer at many of the regions venues. As a former host at Strings in Emeryville, California, and a collaborator with many of fingerstyle guitars top players, he has frequently introduced international talent to local audiences. Gerken has shared the stage with guitar visionaries such as John Renbourn, Alex de Grassi, and Peter Finger, as well as with his mentors, Duck Baker and Peppino DAgostino. Gerken is also a frequent guest at the International Guitar Night, as well as on radio stations such as San Franciscos KUSF and Berkeleys KPFA. In 2000, he began adding concerts in Germany to his performance calendar. Gerkens debut album On My Way (LifeRhythm Music) has received critical acclaim since its release in 1999. This sounds as if Michael Hedges, Paco De Lucia, and Bill Monroe are all fighting over a guitar, says the music review website Listen.com, which goes on to say that this exceptional musician combines elements of folk, jazz, bluegrass and just about any style you can think of, into his seamless, lightning speed guitar workouts. Gerken plays World Fusion without losing his own identity or watering down styles. The UKs Folks Roots adds, very impressive technique, and tuneful, and Dirty Linen calls Gerken a fine technical player. The composition Her Red Hair is to be featured on a Best of Contemporary Instrumental Music sampler CD by Germanys Mikado Records in the fall of 2001. Besides performing solo, Gerken is also active playing in a guitar duet with 1993 Telluride Fingerstyle Champion Dylan Schorer. Exploring jazz, classical, and Celtic music, the duo is currently working on a joined CD. In addition, Gerken can be found on the editorial staff of Acoustic Guitar magazine.