June 13, 2024

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Garrison Fewell: Critics have called him one of today’s most personal guitar players … Video

14.10. – Happy Birthday !!! ”The guitarist formerly known as one of Boston’s most eloquent inside players has become one of its leading experimenters,” writes Boston Phoenix’s Jon Garelick, who included Fewell’s ensemble, the Variable Density Sound Orchestra, on his best of 2009 list.

Fewell, a professor at Berklee College since 1977, has toured the globe for more than 35 years as one of the jazz world’s premier performer/educators. He has released 13 recordings for Soul Note, Koch, Splasc(H), Boxholder, Accurate, Nubop and CNM Records. For the past decade, he has collaborated with such renowned avant-garde musicians as John Tchicai, Steve Swell, Roy Campbell, Khan Jamal, Borah Bergman and Curtis Clark. The Variable Density Sound Orchestra, founded in 2008, released three recordings on Creative Nation Music, and balances both aspects of Fewell’s musical personality by showcasing the melodic accessibility and sturdy framework of his compositions as well as the unbridled freedom of free improvisation.

A renowned jazz educator Fewell has taught at European Conservatories including Rotterdam, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Graz, Cologne, Leipzig, Warsaw, Krakow, the American School of Modern Music in Paris, and at McGill and Laval University in Canada, and conducted workshops for the International Association of Jazz Educators in New York City, Toronto, and the Montreux Jazz Festival. He taught at the Polish Jazz Society Summer Workshops, the New School (NY) at Veneto Jazz, Italy, and is the ear training and guitar instructor for Global Music Foundation at seminars across Europe.

Critics have called him “one of today’s most personal guitar players” (Boston Phoenix), “an assured stylist with a strong sense of tradition” (The New Yorker), “a player of virtuosity and swinging intensity” (UPI), and “refined, passionate, and inspiring” (Guitar Player). His diverse discography, beginning with 1993 Boston Music Award-winning “A Blue Deeper Than the Blue” (Accurate), counts multiple titles ranked on best of the year lists in publications such as Coda, Guitar Player, Musica Jazz, AllAboutJazz, The Wire, and his hometown Philadelphia Inquirer.

Fewell has performed and recorded with his quartet at NYC’s Blue Note and Birdland Jazz Clubs, and performed at international festivals such as Montreux, North Sea, Umbria, Clusone, Veneto Jazz, Copenhagen, Krakow, Budapest, and Cape Verde, Africa. His experience includes concert tours with Tal Farlow, Benny Golson, Fred Hersch, Herbie Hancock, George Cables, Don Friedman, Jim McNeely, Hal Galper, Larry Coryell, Buster Williams, Cecil McBee, Cameron Brown, Steve LaSpina, Billy Hart, Kenny Wheeler, Tim Hagans, Dusko Goykovich, Cecil Bridgewater, Billy Harper, John Tchicai, Steve Swell, Roy Campbell, Jr., Khan Jamal, Norma Winstone, and Slide Hampton.

Fewell is the author of four books on improvisation, Jazz Improvisation for Guitar – A Melodic Approach (Hal Leonard 2005), Jazz Improvisation for Guitar – A Harmonic Approach (Hal Leonard 2010), “The Art of Harmony and Improvisation” (Carisch 2007) and is a contributor to Guitar Player, AllAboutJazz, and Axe magazines. He is the recipient of music grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artslink, Arts International, ACULSPEC (American Cultural Specialist) and has been awarded the Davis Faculty Fellowship Grant from Berklee College.

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