What's Hot With Jazz Guitar: Mimi Fox

This week we feature jazz guitarist Mimi Fox. "She plays with tremendous fire. She can do pretty much anything she wants on the guitar." So said Joe Pass and he should know! Following is the bio on this 'firey' San Francisco jazz guitarist...

Online Bio:

Ferociously talented, Mimi Fox is world renowned for her shimmering chords, dazzling facility, and gorgeous sensitivity. Fingers flying across the frets, Mimi makes the guitar's strings snap in funky riffs and finger-popping rhythms. She brings a fresh and fluent guitar voice to the world of jazz with her blazing bebop, lush and lyrical ballads, passionate Brazilian rhythms, and greasy blues. Audiences and critics alike have been captivated by her talent and charismatic personality.

She has performed with fellow guitarists Charlie Byrd, and Charlie Hunter, as well as with the Turtle Island String Quartet, Grammy award winner David Sanchez, saxophonist Don Lanphere, Manhattan Transfer's Janis Siegel, the German Hammond B3 organ phenomenon Barbara Dennerlien among others. Mimi has shared the bill with a wide array of artists including Diana Krall, Stevie Wonder and John Sebastian. She has been featured on a number of television shows including BET on Jazz.

Mimi maintains a whirlwind touring schedule, performing in major jazz clubs and festivals from New York to Tokyo. She has performed at The Village Gate in New York City; Blues Alley in Washington, D.C.; Jazz Alley in Seattle; Yoshi's, the Great American Music Hall, and Kimball's East in the San Francisco area, among many others. She is a favorite at jazz and music festivals such as the Jazz on the Water Festival, The Guinness Cork Ireland Jazz Festival, the Britt Festival, the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival, The San Francisco & San Jose Jazz Festivals, The Perth International Jazz Festival, Bumbershoot, Port Townsend and Monterey Jazz Festivals. Phil Elwood, dean of the San Francisco music critics, singled her out: "Outstanding performer? From the galaxy of stars at the JazzFest, guitarist Mimi Fox came across as the brightest." Mimi recently completed very successful tours of the Carribean, Japan, Thailand, and Australia.

Her most recent recording, Standards (Origin Records), is a solo guitar tour de force and has received rave reviews including Jim Josselyn from Cadence Magazine who said, "This may be the finest solo jazz guitar playing I have ever heard".

Kicks, her second CD on the Monarch label, showcases her extraordinary soloing and features special guests Joey DeFrancesco on organ, keyboardist Russell Ferrante and drummer Will Kennedy from the Yellowjackets, vocalist Angela Bofil, and guitarist Charlie Hunter. Hunter later reported, "Playing with Mimi was a blast. She can play the nastiest blues or just kick into high gear and burn." Kicks quickly rose to fifth place on Gavin jazz radio charts and number 20 on Billboard jazz charts. allaboutjazz.com awarded Kicks four stars out of four and raved, "This is a strongly melodic collection, and one that swings out stylishly...Mimi Fox is a major talent...This one's strongly recommended."

Born in New York City, she started playing drums at nine, and then guitar when she was ten. She was inspired by the wide variety of music enjoyed by her family - show tunes, classical, Dixieland, Motown - and her own youthful inclination toward pop, folk, and R&B. When she was fourteen, she bought her first jazz album "because it was on sale." She had no jazz recordings and the one she chose had no guitarist, but she was "blown away" by it. That album, John Coltrane's classic Giant Steps, changed the course of her musical life. Fox began touring right out of high school. She moved to San Francisco in 1979, where she became a sought-after musician. She is on the faculty of the innovative Jazzschool in Berkeley, California, and has appeared as guest clinician at the University of Connecticut, University of Oregon, the Britt Music Festival, and others. She has received numerous awards for her original scores for dance, theater and film.

Mimi Fox, fleet-fingered on both steel string acoustic and hollow body jazz guitars, is a compelling musician, prolific composer, talented arranger, inspired teacher, and dynamic leader of her own band.

Mimi's website is at: http://www.mimifoxjazzguitar.com/

Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at http://www.docdosco.com, where you can find more information on the 'What's Hot in Jazz Guitar' columns, audio clips of Doc's playing, and many additional features. Doc endorse Heritage Guitars and is a featured artist on their website. He also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps, great for jazz (and anything else!)

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