RIP Garrison Fewell (1953-2015)

Garrison Fewell. Cork 2013. Photo credit: Melody McLaren

The guitarist and educator Garrison Fewell died yesterday, July 5th at the age of 61. Stephen Keogh has written this tribute to his friend and colleague:

Garrison Fewell was a great musician and a lot more. He performed all over the world with many of the greats.

He taught countless students guitar and ear training.

His kindness and positive spirit pervaded whatever he was engaged in, be it teaching, playing a concert, running his house concerts, or designing and hand writing each individual CD cover.

His patience was immense with his students and sometimes even with his colleagues. In difficult and sometimes dodgy situations on tour he was a peacemaker. He was a great friend.

Although his illness was known about to all, having been diagnosed with cancer in December of 2013, it still came as a shock when the news of his death arrived.

He will be missed by so many for his music and for his presence.

o – o – o – o – o

Biograpy page from the Global Music Foundation website:

Renowned for his mature, melodic sound and elegant, lyrical style of writing and playing, guitarist Garrison Fewell has established himself as a distinctive voice throughout his 30-year career. 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). 

As a leader, Garrison has performed at NYC’s Blue Note and Birdland Jazz Clubs, and toured in the US, South America, Africa, Caribbean, Canada and Europe. He has played at major jazz festivals such as Montreux, North Sea, Umbria, Clusone, Veneto Jazz, Copenhagen, Krakow, Budapaest, Quebec, Cape Verde, Africa, and Asuncion, Paraguay. He has performed with renowned artists such Tal Farlow, Larry Coryell, Benny Golson, Billy Harper, John Tchicai, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Steve Grossman, Herbie Hancock, Fred Hersch, Hal Galper, George Cables, Cecil McBee, Buster Williams, Miroslav Vitous, Steve LaSpina, Cameron Brown, Harvie Swartz, Michael Formanek, Tim Hagans, Cecil Bridgewater, Kenny Wheeler, Jimmy Owens, Dusko Goykovich, Khan Jamal, Norma Winstone, Jay Clayton, and Slide Hampton. 

An internationally respected jazz educator, Fewell has been a Professor of Guitar and Ear Training at Boston’s Berklee College of Music since 1977 and has given clinics at more than 40 prestigious conservatories in Europe alone, authored a textbook called Jazz Improvisation, and served as a lesson contributor to Guitar Player, Guitar Club and Axe magazines. He recently wrote a book “Outside Music, Inside Voices – dialogues on improvisation and the creative spirit.”

LINKS: Garrison Fewell at Berklee
JazzTimes also published an obituary/ tribute

Categories: miscellaneous

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