What's Hot With Jazz Guitar: Mimi Fox

by Doc Dosco

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

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:


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 with Jazz Guitar' columns, audio clips of Doc's playing, and many additional features. Doc endorses Heritage Guitars and is featured artist on their website. He also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps -- great for jazz (and anything else!)

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