When you think of the Amish countryside, jazz guitar rarely comes to mind. Yet born in Northern Indiana, jazz guitarist Jeff Massanari's roots are firmly placed in the little town of Goshen. Jeff 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 music of a big city, 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 California and settled in West Oakland. Once there, he established himself in the Bay Area jazz world and quickly became one of the most in demand guitarists. Jeff has performed with all of the finest Bay Area musicians, including Paula West, the Johnny Nocturne Band, Mark Inouye, the Murasaki Ensemble, Swing Fever and Wally Schnalle, and has played internationally in Italy, Sweden, Japan and Guam. Jeff’s first album, Dancing on Thin Ice, received rave reviews and earned him recognition as the “Spotlight on New Talent” guitarist in the July 1993 issue of Guitar Player magazine.
His latest release, "For the Music", can be heard on jazz radio KCSM, and all have received great reviews including praise from guitarists Mike Stern and Eric Johnson.
Jeff is also an accomplished and dedicated teacher, and has taught at Bruce Formanıs Jazzmaster series, Jazzcamp West, U.C. Berkeley, The Jazzschool, and The Blue Bear Music School.
For more information check out Jeffıs website,www.jeffmassanari.com.