Internationally-known jazz guitarist to perform Friday
Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 23:10
A critically acclaimed jazz guitarist, who has performed with influential musicians like Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, will make his debut performance at USU on Friday.
John Scofield, along with his improvisational group the Uberjam Band, will perform in the Morgan Theatre in the Chase Fine Arts Center at 7:30 p.m.
Corey Christiansen, the director of guitar studies at USU, said Scofield’s performing abilities surpass those of almost any other artist alive today.
“John Scofield is one of the greatest living guitar players and probably one of the most important voices in the improvisation world today,” said Corey Christiansen, the director of guitar studies at USU. “He’s at the top of the totem pole as far as being an important figure in American music.”
After taking up the guitar at the age of 11, Scofield said he grew into the professional music scene as fusion jazz began gaining popularity. This musical style, blending components of both jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, became Scofield’s area of expertise.
“When I started to get work professionally in the mid-’70s, a lot of times it would be older guys, the beboppers,” Scofield said of being recruited to play with his superiors. “I would be cast as the fusion player. I was in this sort of hybrid area.”
Gaining prowess in the music scene, Scofield spent years recording and touring with some of the world’s best jazz musicians, later forming various groups of his own and recording more than 30 albums at their lead.
“I think in jazz especially, you learn from the people you play with,” Scofield said. “I’ve gotten to stand and play with the great and that has really shaped me.”
Scofield said his performance with the Uberjam Band is “different from some of the other groups I have that are more traditional jazz.”
Incorporating African-influenced beats, “funky rock ‘n’ roll” and dance-like electronic instrumental components, Scofield said the performance highlights the diversity that can be accomplished within the musical parameters of the guitar as an instrument.