Interview with Mark Whitfield, The Man Himself
It’s finally here:
As the final post in the FretDojo.com series on jazz blues guitar I’ve featured this month, I’m honored to welcome critically acclaimed jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield, in this exclusive interview.
Simply put, this was one of the best conversations about jazz guitar I’ve ever had, and I was thrilled that Mark had time in his busy schedule for our conversation.
This interview also includes the title track off Mark’s brand new album, Grace – his 15th album as a bandleader and first release for 7 years.
A truly family affair, the new album features his two sons, Davis Whitfield on keys and Mark Whitfield Jr. on drums, as part of the Whitfield Family Band. I highly recommend checking it out! Get the album here>>
Interview: Video Version
Interview: Audio Version
Now the exciting bit:
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Here's what you get when you join up:
- Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
- Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
- Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
- Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
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The best part:
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About Mark Whitfield
Mark Whitfield is one of the most highly regarded jazz guitarists alive today.
Throughout his career, he’s collaborated with legendary artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, and many others.
In 1990 the New York Times dubbed Whitfield “The Best Young Guitarist in the Business”. Later that year, Warner Bros. released his debut album The Marksman.
I reached out to Mark after working on a transcription from one of the tracks from this album: The Blues From Way Back, a jazz guitar blues I’ve been featuring lately on this website.
In the interview, you’ll learn about…
- Mark’s special relationship with the blues, and how he’s naturally been drawn to incorporating it into his jazz style.
- Mark’s journey with jazz guitar, studying at Berklee College of Music, sessions at the Blue Note in New York, and beyond
- Mark’s thoughts on how to learn jazz guitar to make solid progress, regardless of the time you have for practice.
- The essential ingredients of an effective and rewarding jazz guitar practice session
- How Mark met Joe Pass as a young man, leading to one of the most important (and unusual!) jazz guitar masterclasses he ever had.
Album’s and Resources Mentioned By Mark:
- Album: Portraits of Duke Ellington – Joe Pass, feat. Ray Brown & Bobby Durham (1974)
- Album: Breezin’ – George Benson (1976)
- Mark’s brand new album Grace – to find out more and to get your copy, visit the album page on CD Baby here or on iTunes.
Thanks for Checking This Out!
To share your thoughts:
- Leave a note in the comment section below.
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Special thanks to Mark Whitfield for joining me this week. Find out more about Mark Whitfield via these links:
- Website: markwhitfield.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialmarkwhitfieldguitaristpage/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/markwhitfieldtheguitarist/
Until next time!