Wes Montgomery (March 6, 1925 – June 15, 1968). John Leslie “Wes” Montgomery was a jazz guitarist whose natural genius and distinctive sound earned him recognition as one of the most important jazz musicians of the 20th century. Montgomery was born on March 6, 1925 in Indianapolis, Indiana into a musically inclined family. About his special famous technique, instead of using a guitar pick, Montgomery plucked the strings with the fleshy part of his thumb, using down strokes for single notes and a combination of up strokes and down strokes for chords and octaves. His unique idiomatic conception to the instrument and the power of his soloing influenced generations of players who followed him; guitar icons such as George Benson, Pat Martino, Larry Coryell, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour and Russell Malone.