Jazz Solo Guitar,
Duos, Trios to Quintets

Guitar Lessons in
San Francisco
All Ages

Upcoming Shows

Special note: In San Francisco, playing gigs, teaching and recording.

Some Past Gig Flyers

You can keep tabs on gigs and travel pics below.


Kai Lyons is from the Excelsior District of San Francisco and was surrounded by music and community from an early age. He completed his studies at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in 2012 as the first to graduate from the acclaimed Classical Guitar Program, directed by Scott Cmiel. From 2012-2014, on full scholarship, Kai attended the prestigious jazz program at William Paterson University of New Jersey, directed by Mulgrew Miller. He studied with Vincent Herring, Gene Bertoncini, Harold Mabern, Rich Perry, and Hal Galper. Kai received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from San Francisco State University where he studied with Andrew Speight, Michael Zisman and Hafez Modirzadeh.

Ever since returning to the Bay Area in 2015, he has freelanced extensively and also traveled frequently to New York City, New Orleans, Brazil and the Caribbean on music trips. In 2018 he participated in Master Class: Orff-Afrique 2018 in Ghana, Africa.

Besides working with his own trio, Kai has performed with Mike Clark and Donald Harrison of Herbie Hancock’s Original Headhunters, Louis Romero, award-winning organist Wil Blades, Larry Vuckovich, Sueños and Illy Bogart.


Sentimiento y Manana – 2021

Sentimiento y Manana is a Bay Area band, founded in 2009, inspired by the music, culture, & life of “La Isabel” Guantanamo, Cuba.
​Genre: Afro-Cuban Rhythm Changui, Rumba, Bembe & Traditional Cuban Music.


ILLY BOGART – 2019 Studio Session

“Awhereness” by illy bogart
Tony Peebles, Tenor Saxophone
Lyle Link, Tenor Saxophone
Ian McArdle, Keys
Kai Lyons, Guitar
Isaac Schwartz, Drums + percussion

Video and editing by Nino Fernandez
Recording and Mixing by Akiyoshi Ehara

Buy the album “The Big Picture” here: https://illybogart.bandcamp.com/releases
Stay up to date with illy bogart here: https://www.illybogart.com/about

Sueños (Jazz) EP – 2019

Sueños – Shots Fired – 2018

Soltron – 2016

Butterfly Jazz Trio – First Time Around – 2013

Butterfly Jazz Trio


Now available on CD Baby & iTunes

Kai Lyons – Guitar
Erik Von Buchau – Drums
Dillan Riter – Bass


01 Cold Duck Time
(Eddie Harris) 5:29

02 Autumn Leaves
(Joseph Kosma, Johnny Mercer, Jacques Prévert) 8:39

03 Gingerbread Boy
(Jimmy Heath) 6:00

04 Polka Dots And Moonbeams
(Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke) 8:29

05 Adam’s Apple
(Wayne Shorter) 8:13

06 Beatrice
(Sam Rivers) 7:48

07 Oleo
(Sonny Rollins) 4:50


Recorded at Granada Studios in Half Moon Bay on August, 29, 2013, FIRST TIME AROUND by the Butterfly Jazz Trio is a spontaneous romp through some funky grooves, subtle ballads and straight ahead explorations. The session was inspired by gigs the Butterfly Jazz Trio played in downtown San Francisco in various bars and hotels during the summer of 2013.

All tunes were chosen like they had been on the gigs – spur of the moment, like many of the great sessions of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Two takes were done of most tracks but invariably the first was the one chosen. Freshness and immediacy was the agenda. There are no click tracks, prefabrications or overdubs of any kind. Just real instruments, listening, talented players and a splendid warm-sounding tube amp built by Rico Macalma, the engineer on the session.

At around 5pm, the crew packed up realizing that we all needed a break. We headed up to the Mission District in San Francisco for dinner. Time to chill before another gig at a hotel off of Union Square.

If you are a fan of the jazz guitar trio, music that swings hard and melodies that stay with you long after you finish that last track, check out the CD. Makes a great gift too. You may just want to listen to it again and again.


Engineer & Mix by Rico Macalma, Mastering by Rainer Gembalczyk
Executive Producer & CD Design – Paul Lyons
Unauthorized copying and reproduction prohibited.
Copyright 2013 – Butterfly Jazz Trio – All Rights Reserved – kailyons.com