Labor Day weekend has come and gone, but our tribute to the ever-hard-working TrueFire faculty continues. Here are the next 10 guitarists to whom we owe a great amount of gratitude (alphabetical order):
Charles Chapman is a Professor in the Guitar Department at Berklee College of Music where he has taught since 1972. He is a versatile jazz guitarist with extensive performing and recording experience. Charles holds a Bachelors degree from Berklee College and a Masters of Education from Cambridge College. He performed four tunes on the Mel Bay¹s compilation CD “Anthology of Jazz Guitar Solos” and all nine solos on the CD that accompanies the text “Guitar Solos” by George Van Eps (MB94822BCD.) and has just released a solo CD titled Come Sunset.Charles has published 10 texts with Mel Bay and now performs on a regular basis at Guitar Shows and jazz festivals internationally. As a music journalist he has interviewed many of the most prominent guitarists in the field and is a frequent contributor to Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, Fender Frontline, 20th Century Guitar, Mel Bay Guitar Sessions, All About Jazz, Dowbeat and Just Jazz Guitar magazines with over 400 published articles and reviews.
Knowledgeable music industry people agree that Robert Conti is the most prolific, innovative and imitated jazz guitar educator on the international scene today. Demand for nearly 30 DVDs in six years is undeniable proof of his ability to continuously deliver high-impact results – that’s customer satisfaction! Every DVD will inspire you to breathe new life into your chord melody work and improv solos with a truckload of fresh, creative and exciting ideas. Indeed, nobody brings their “A-Game” knowledge to Jazz Guitar instruction like Robert Conti. If you’ve had your fill of theorists, gurus, philosophers, modologists, scale technicians, legends, confusion, institutions, theory godmothers, conservatories and delusion – then it’s time to discover the reasons why DVDs from Robert Conti are at the forefront of “go to” jazz guitar learning resources.
When country guitar master Joe Dalton picks up a six-string; everyone listens. A phenomenon that has followed Joe since he was a snot nosed kid in the 5th grade. Having picked up his first instrument at age 5, Dalton should have been considered a musical prodigy if it weren’t for the plain fact that he was only one of the latest branches to sprout from a very musical family tree with a legacy that spans decades. His great-grandfather conducted the City of Rome Orchestra in Italy; his grandfather was the leader of the New York Philharmonic; his father is solely responsible for bringing mallets into the U.S. Army Band Corps; his brother teaches at the Boston Conservatory…we could go on, but you get the point, right? Musical prowess runs through his veins; it’s the nucleus of his existence.
As his TrueFire lessons demonstrate, Joe enjoys exploring a variety of acoustic and electric guitar styles. Along the way he’s arranged numerous guitar transcription books for Warner Bros. Music Publications and Hal Leonard Corporation. Featured artists include: B.B. King, Led Zeppelin, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Eagles, Rod Stewart, Van Morrison, and Rush. As a writer, his instructional articles and CD lessons have appeared in Guitar Player, How To Play Guitar, Premier Guitar, and Acoustic Guitar magazines. In addition, he has also been invovlved in multimedia as an author, arranger, and narrator for the award-winning UBI Soft Entertainment CD-Roms: Plugged-In, and Songs of Lennon & McCartney.
Internationally renowned guitarist/composer/recording artist Mimi Fox has been named a winner in 6 consecutive Downbeat Magazine international critic’s polls and has been recognized by writers and colleagues alike as one of the most eloquent jazz guitarists on today’s scene. In one of many feature stories, Guitar Player Magazine hailed Mimi as “a prodigious talent who has not only mastered the traditional forms but has managed to reinvigorate them.” Mimi has performed/recorded with some of jazz’s most commanding players, including fellow guitarists Charlie Byrd, Stanley Jordan, Charlie Hunter, and Mundell Lowe, Grammy-nominated saxophonists Branford Marsalis, David Sanchez and Houston Person and the late Don Lanphere, vocalists Abbey Lincoln, Diana Krall, Kevin Mahogany and Janis Siegel (Manhattan Transfer), B3 organ masters Barbara Denerlein and Dr. Lonnie Smith, and powerhouse drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. She has also performed outside of the jazz world with legends Stevie Wonder and John Sebastian and with Patty Larkin’s Vanguard Records-produced La Guitara project. Mimi has released eight highly acclaimed albums as a leader, including her two most recent on Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label. 2006’s double CD, Perpetually Hip, received rave reviews from scores of publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, which called this project Fox’s “Masterwork” and said: “The two discs stand as a definitive Fox statement. The first showcases her simmering interplay with a quartet featuring drum maestro Billy Hart, while the second captures her breathtaking solo style in an approach that is as harmonically resourceful as it is lyrically inventive.”
Every now and then an artist comes along whose music reaches out and touches the soul of all who hear them…virtuoso guitarist, singer and composer Vicki Genfan is among those artists… Drawing from folk, jazz, pop, soul and world music, Vicki is redefining ‘singer/songwriter culture.’ With a mastery of the acoustic guitar that borders on pure alchemy, audiences are mesmerized by the waves of sound Vicki creates with just two hands and her voice. Using 29 alternate tunings and the percussive technique she calls ‘slap-tap’, you’ll find the addition of her pure, expressive vocals that dig deep and stir the heart to be the perfect accompaniment on many of her songs. Vicki writes and beautifully sings her own brand of music and lyrics while putting her unmistakable imprint on familiar tunes like the Beatles’ Norweigian Wood. An evening with Vicki is far more than a concert; stories, warmth and humor come gift wrapped in an unforgettable evening of music that leaves the audience always wanting more. Vicki has been recognized among the world’s greatest guitarists and musicians at festivals such as The International Montreal Jazz Festival, Germany’s Open Strings Guitar Festival, Italy’s Soave Guitar Festival, as well as at venues and Performing Arts Centers across the US and abroad. In 2005 she was one of the featured artists on ‘La Guitara’, the first compilation CD featuring female guitarists from around the globe, released by Vanguard Records. With several additional ground-breaking recordings behind her, recent acquisitions of the 6 string banjo, 12 string and baritone guitars, high demand at clinics and music camps and an ongoing European presence, Vicki continues to reach beyond musical borders and into new territory.
Composing and performing a kaleidoscopic mixture of instrumental selections for the guitar, Richard Gilewitz is an internationally acclaimed soloperformer who forges a new voice to include the expanse of his influences. His complex and energetic original works become stories from the guitar and deliver invitations to each listener to take a journey with him through the past and present realm of guitar music. Incorporating his own personality and orchestration into a sound tunnel of timeless musical history, Richard delivers a musical pallet filled with colorful imagery of samples from European, Contemporary, and Spanish Classical works to the Traditional Folk, Blues and American Primitive eras. Combining both standard and unique tunings with his interpretations, every single note is treated as an individual character in a society of notes. As he achieves a sound that is very distinctive, it is apparent that Richard’s own DNA is reflected in his playing.
David Hamburger has appeared at Merle Fest and the Kerrville and Philadelphia Folk Festivals, toured with Joan Baez and shared the stage with Dave Van Ronk, Jorma Kaukonen, Tony Trischka, Duke Robillard, Cindy Cashdollar and many others. His guitar, slide guitar and dobro playing can be heard on his solo albums Indigo Rose and David Hamburger Plays Blues, Ballads & a Pop Song and with the Grassy Knoll Boys on their debut CD, Buckeyed Rabbit. David is also a contributing editor to Acoustic Guitar and the author of several books, including the award-winning “Beginning Blues Guitar” and “The Acoustic Guitar Method,” also available on DVD from Homespun Tapes. He lives in Austin, Texas. “Fascinating…Hamburger’s touch on his Collings 00-2H is delicate and precise, but soulful – never stiff. The instructor gets an A.” – Vintage Guitar. “Hamburger…revitalizes American roots music.” – The New Yorker. “A dozen unaccompanied tracks of acoustic goodness…Brims with talent.” – The Austin Chronicle.
Born in New Orleans, Hamm spent his childhood and youth in Champaign, Illinois, where he studied bass and piano, played in the stage band at Champaign High School, and was selected to the Illinois All-State Band. Hamm graduated from Hanover High in Hanover, New Hampshire in 1978 while living in Norwich, Vermont. Following high school, he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he met guitarist Steve Vai and, through him, met Joe Satriani. Hamm played bass on Vai’s debut solo album, Flex-Able, which was released in 1984. Hamm has performed and recorded with Steve Vai, Frank Gambale, Joe Satriani and many other well-respected guitarists. It was playing live on tour with Satriani that brought Hamm’s skills to national attention. Subsequent recordings with Satriani and other rock/fusion artists along with the release of his own solo recordings solidified his reputation as a bassist and performer. Hamm’s first solo album, Radio Free Albemuth, inspired by the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, was released in 1988. On it, Hamm demonstrated his abilities on a number of original compositions spanning a variety of genres including fusion, country, and classical. On solo pieces like “Country Music (A night in Hell),” he demonstrates his slapping and two-handed tapping proficiency as well as the ability to make the bass imitate the sounds of a wide range of instruments; the piece has since become a popular live piece. On the same album, he performs an arrangement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
Geoff Hartwell is a long-time faculty member at the National Guitar Workshop where he’s taught seminars in Austin, Texas and Chicago, Illinois with special guests Sonny Landreth and Cindy Cashdollar. At NGW he’s also shared the stage with Blues Legends such as Jimmy Thackery, formerly of Muddy Waters’ Band. Geoff was excited to share the stage again with Sonny on tour dates including B.B. King’s in NYC, and to collaborate with him on the recordings which yielded the new CD, “Hate To See You Go”. Geoff Hartwell has appeared in international magazines such as Guitar World and Vintage Guitar Magazine. Recent television performances include appearing as a “Naked Hippie” in a hugely popular skit on Saturday Night Live (which was chosen to open the “Best of the Year” DVD), and playing guitar for the theme to the Discovery Channel show “Outward Bound”, as well as interview/performances on The Guitar Show with Mike Byrnes, and “The Listening Room” on RNN. In addition to maintaining a busy clinic and teaching schedule, Geoff Hartwell continues to perform up to 200 nights per year.