King Crimson’s Guitarist and Lead Singer Hits the Road with PRS Guitars

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PRS Guitars Artist, Jakko Jakszyk discusses King Crimson, their upcoming US tour and his new custom-built P24 guitar.

Jakko Jakszyk and his PRS P24 guitar

Legendary band King Crimson is coming to the U.S. this fall for a multi-city tour. The new King Crimson lineup features founder Robert Fripp reuniting with bassman Tony Levin, drummer-percussionists Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree), and Bill Rieflin (PEM, Nine Inch Nails), woodwind legend Mel Collins, and PRS guitarist and Crimson’s lead vocalist Jakko Jakszyk.

Playing a PRS P24 guitar outfitted with a custom graphic straight from the epic In the Court of the Crimson King album, guitarist and lead singer Jakko Jakszyk will hit the stage in his second collaboration with Fripp and King Crimson; his debut was on the popular 2011 A Scarcity of Miracles LP. Prior to Crimson, Jakko collaborated with a wide variety of musicians and has an extensive and well-respected career as a session musician and soundtrack producer. He’s fronted multiple bands and projects over the course of three-and-a-half decades (including 64 Spoons, Dizrhythmia, 21st Century Schizoid Band, Jakszyk Fripp Collins, and Rapid Eye Movement).

In the midst of rehearsals for the upcoming US tour, PRS Guitars managed to sneak a few minutes of Jakko’s time to ask him a few questions about his career as a musician:

PRS:     At what age did you realize you wanted to be a musician? Was the guitar the first instrument you gravitated to?
JAKKO: I was pretty obsessed by music as a kid, but things took a serious turn when my pal played me '21st Century Schizoid Man' by King Crimson when I was 11. A year later we went to see them live at the local town hall. The whole experience blew me away. It was a pivotal moment and one where I decided 'I have to do this.' I had a romantic teenage notion that this evening had somehow changed my life. Looking back, over 40 years later, it turns out I was right. Who'd have thought?

PRS:     You have collaborated with a wide-variety of artists through the years. Prior to joining King Crimson in 2013, who are some of the artists you have worked with and tell us about some of your most memorable accomplishments?
JAKKO: I was lead guitarist in English funk/pop band Level 42 for about 5 years having taken over from their short time replacement, Allan Holdsworth. I'd been working as a solo artist and session player in the 80's. I spent time in New York playing in The Lodge, an avant garde rock band signed to Island Records. I had an acoustic band back in England called Dijzrythmia, also signed to Island Records, that featured doubled bass legend Danny Thompson, current Crimson drummer Gavin Harrison and a host of Indian musicians. I composed 3 experimental award nominated pieces for BBC Radio 3 (the classical station)
and have recently re-mixed two Emerson, Lake & Palmer albums in 5.1 surround sound from the original masters, along with Jethro Tull’s most recent album.

PRS:    What attracted you to PRS Guitars?
JAKKO: They just feel right. A modern guitar with a vintage look and feel. They look and feel like custom instruments not mass produced guitars trading in former glories.

PRS:    You’ve got a new, one-of-a-kind PRS P24 that you just recently added to your arsenal. What’s the story behind this guitar?
JAKKO: I'd been playing a Custom 22 and when asked to join King Crimson, I wanted to make a statement of intent. To create a guitar that looked as special as it played. So I asked the guys at PRS if they were up for that. I took the iconic artwork of Crimson's first album and with the invaluable help of LP sleeve designer Phil Smee created a version of it that would work on the PRS shape. I chose the neck profile and asked for the addition of a piezo in the bridge. I asked for the back to be in the predominant blue from the cover and added this picture of the old man from the inside of the original gatefold sleeve. Paul Miles at PRS did an incredible job. He came up with these lovely iridescent red/purple/blue inlays on the neck and the ebony fretboard. The photos don't do the guitar justice, the finish looks like porcelain.

Dates for the upcoming King Crimson Tour are as follows:
9/9 Albany, NY - The Egg
9/10 Albany, NY - The Egg
9/12 Philadelphia, PA - Kimmel Center
9/13 Philadelphia, PA - Kimmel Center
9/15 Boston, MA - Colonial Theatre
9/16 Boston, MA - Colonial Theatre
9/18 New York, NY - Best Buy Theater
9/19 New York, NY - Best Buy Theater
9/20 New York, NY - Best Buy Theater
9/23 Madison, WI - Barrymore Threatre
9/25 Chicago, IL - The Vic
9/26 Chicago, IL - The Vic
9/30 Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre
10/1 Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre
10/3 San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theater
10/4 San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theater
10/6 Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre, played on numerous early Crimson albums (including 1974's iconic Red).

Tickets available through ticketmaster.

Learn more about King Crimson’s Jakko here.

About PRS Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Guitars is a leading manufacturer of quality instruments in Stevensville, Maryland. Since 1985, the PRS team of highly skilled craftspeople has designed and built a wide variety of musical instruments and gear for worldwide distribution, including electric, acoustic, and bass guitars as well as boutique-inspired guitar amplifiers. The PRS SE line of products complements the Maryland-made PRS line by offering highly approachable and more affordable electric and acoustic guitars. Zach Myers of Shinedown, Mark Tremonti of Creed and Alter Bridge, Dustie Waring of Between the Buried and Me, Clint Lowery of Sevendust, Fredrik Akesson and Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth, Marty Friedman, Orianthi, Neal Schon, and Carlos Santana are among the artists currently playing PRS instruments and/or amplifiers.

PRS Guitars Info:

About Jakko Jakszyk:
A multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and record producer, Jakko is the current lead singer and second guitarist in King Crimson and also pursues a solo career. Prior to joining King Crimson in 2013, he had fronted multiple bands and projects over the course of three-and-a-half decades (including 64 Spoons, Dizrhythmia, 21st Century Schizoid Band, Jakszyk Fripp Collins and Rapid Eye Movement). He has collaborated with a wide variety of musicians and has an extensive and well-respected career as a session musician and soundtrack producer. In addition to working within music, Jakko has created mixed-media pieces for radio broadcast and is known as a raconteur and occasional actor.


Images are available via the following link:

PRS Contacts:
Judy Schaefer, Marketing Manager | jschaefer(at)prsguitars(dot)com | 410-643-9970 x 6873
Jeanne Nooney, PR & Events | jnooney(at)prsguitars(dot)com | 410-643-9970 x 6854

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Jeanne Nooney
Paul Reed Smith Guitars
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