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  • Jeff Massanari (2006)

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    When you think of the Amish countryside, jazz guitar rarely comes to mind. But thats where you'll find San Francisco Bay Area based jazz guitarist Jeff Massanari's roots firmly placed! Jeff was born in the town of Goshen, Indiana and could have easily followed in the footsteps of his father and brothers with a career in academia, but an unexpected move to Washington DC at age 9 led Jeff down a very different path.

    Exposed to the vibrant music scene of Washington, DC, Jeff sought out the guitar and began playing at age 13. First focusing on blues and rock that was all to change when a friend brought over a recording of John McLaughlin's "Inner Mounting Flame". From the first note Jeff was hooked on jazz. By the time he was 17 he was performing and teaching jazz and blues in the Washington DC area.

    Jeff's love of jazz took him from DC to Boston's Berklee School of Music. After studying performance and composition, Jeff moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and quickly became one of the most in-demand guitarists.

    Jeff has performed with many of the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier artists including vocalists, Paula West, Brenda Boykin, Denise Perrier, Nicholas Beard, Kenny Washington and Pamela Rose. Instrumentalists lWally Schnalle, Jeff Pittson, Charles McNeil, Vince Lateano ,and Jeff Chambers. In addition to performing with his own groups, Jeff regularly plays with The Johnny Nocturne Band, The Murasaki Ensemble, Swing Fever and countless other musicians in the Jazz, Blues, and World music genres.

    Jeff has performed at Yoshi’s international Jazz House, Pearl’s, Davies Symphony Hall, national festivals including, San Jose Jazz Festival, Fillmore Jazz Festival, North Beach Jazz Festival, The Sausalito Arts Festival. internationally Jeff has performed in Japan, Sweden, Finland, Guam, and Italy at the Umbria Jazz Festival.

    Jeff's original compositions have been featured on network television with the Patagonia “Save the Oceans” campaign and on a “Key Bell” commercial playing on Lifetime and BET. Jeff was also featured on an Apple video at a Macworld convention.

    Jeff’s first four CD’s received excellent reviews in Guitar Player Magazine, Cadence, and kudo's from such respected players as Mike Stern and Eric Johnson. He has just finished recording his fifth CD ”Groovework” an all original Jazz-Funk project featuring Wally Schnalle on drums, Jeff Pittson on keys, with Brad Russell and Jason Muscat on bass. “groovework” is available on!

    Jeff has taught at U.C. Berkeley, The Jazz School, Jazz Camp West, Bruce Forman’s Jazzmaster series, and Blue Bear Music School.
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Bill Evans Explorations Sweet and Lovely (Riverside)
    # 2 Igor Stravinsky Stravinsky: "The Rite of Spring"/Scriabin: "The Poem of Ecstasy", Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra The Rite of Spring (Philips)
    # 3 Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced? Red House (MCA)
    # 4 Miles Davis '58, Featuring "Stella by Starlight" On Green Dolphin Street (Columbia)
    # 5 John McLaughlin Inner Mounting Flame Dance of the Maya (Columbia)
    # 6 Pat Martino Consciousness Impressions (32 Jazz)
    # 7 Pat Metheny Trio 99->00 A Lot of Living to Do (Warner Bros)
    # 8 Wes Montgomery The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery Gone with the Wind (Riverside)
    Book John D. Macdonald, "The Turquoise Lament"; or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Complete Sherlock Holmes"
    Luxury Item A guitar, and a humidor of Cao Maduro cigars
    Castaways by date
    George Cotsirilos
    09 Feb
    Ed Klitsch
    05 Jan