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Posted: Thursday August 18, 2011, 2:03 PM
Guitar Solo: Wyckoff guitarist Noah Jessup, 15, dedicated to music
By MIKE KERWICK of The Record

On opposite walls of the room where Noah Jessup plays, a pair of precious guitars awaits. Which one he will choose?

On one side – the side by the window – is his Telecaster.

"Some say it’s a really aggressive guitar and it cuts through really well," Jessup said, "but at the same time, I can back it off to be the sweetest … rhythm guitar. It’s so versatile."

On the other side – the side by the door – is his blue Heritage.

"It’s this really warm, fat-sounding, great tone," Jessup said. "And both of them are really easy to pick up."

They offer two distinct sounds – two distinct faces – for a 15-year-old musician whose heart beats to two distinct musical drums.

"I have one where it’s me and an acoustic guitar and possibly another person on an acoustic guitar," Jessup said one recent morning at his Wyckoff home. "And that really focuses on singing and playing and that’s where I can bring out my original music and I can expand on that.

"But I also have a band, called 12 North. We play songs that people know. We just have a lot of fun with the stuff we do."

He dabbles in everything from jazz to country to straight-up rock, but on Friday, Jessup will settle into a collection of covers for the audience at Blue Moon Mexican Café in Englewood. Jessup loves pedaling down this particular musical avenue.

"It’s different," Jessup said. "It’s a different branch of me. I feel like if I didn’t have both, I’d feel like I’d be kind of restricted."

His dad inflated this musical dream, introducing each of his four children to instruments. Financial analyst by day, music enthusiast by night, Andrew Jessup picked up a guitar and soon was positioning it in his eldest son’s hands.

Noah Jessup was around 7. He has since spent time at Day Jams, a summer day camp for musicians in Manhattan. He has studied music legends on YouTube.

Now he spends most summer days in this room – guitar in his lap, computer nearby – where B.B. King and Elvis pictures hang on the walls for inspiration.

"I love creating something," Jessup said. "I love being able to create something that doesn’t sound like anything else."

Age is still an issue, but he hopes that by playing out at the tender age of 15, it will give him a jump start if and when music becomes his full-time pursuit.

"It’s really hard to find people that are into the same thing that I am and have the same dedication I have, unless they’re professionals," Jessup said.

He wants to continue with music. He also wants to study music at school.

In two years, he may have to make a choice. And it may be tougher than deciding between the Telecaster near one wall and the blue Heritage near the other.

The details

WHAT: Jazz/blues/country

WHEN: 10 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Blue Moon Mexican Café, 21 E. Palisade Ave., Englewood; 201-541-0600

HOW MUCH: Free

FOR MORE INFOR-MATION: facebook.com/noahjessupmusic

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