Bruce Forman

A full-time touring schedule, soundtrack performances in three of Clint Eastwood’s most acclaimed films, the Oscar-winning Million Dollar Baby and Oscar-nominated Flags of Our Fathers and Hereafter, fourteen recordings as a leader including Formanism; numerous sideman dates, more than twenty appearances at Monterey Jazz Festival; and a featured role on Ray Brown’s last album. Bruce Forman is currently in residence at USC’s Studio/Jazz Guitar Dept. Forman is a veteran jazz player who has excellent skills as an entertainer, leader and sideman. Forman is a skilled jazz player with lyrical melodies and inventive harmonies. He also provides solid accompaniment. He is not a bebop snob, but he can play at the fastest tempos of all. Cow Bop, Forman’s “western bebop”, band, reached four different charts with its CDs Swingin’ Out West Route 66 Too Hick for the Room, Swingin’ Out West and Route 66. Bruce’s musical and personal journeys provide a fascinating American story that is still alive. His Texas roots, early career in San Francisco, New York, and years spent on the road all contributed to the highly personal vision he displays today. His deep immersion in American culture motivates him to continue the traditions he learned from. Cow Bop’s “road trials” down historic roads like Route 66, original works such as The Red Guitar, a jazz libretto, and JazzMasters Workshop (a national music mentoring program he founded) are just a few of the many answers to the infinite question that drives Bruce Forman’s creativity. His music and his life reflect his entire journey and show the awareness of an artist who is at home anywhere in the world and at the top his art. Bruce Forman’s guitar playing has been a major part of the international jazz scene over three decades. He has been a featured leader and sideman at many of world’s most prestigious festivals as well as concert venues. He has recorded and performed with many artists, including Ray Brown, Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson. His ability to play in many settings and his unique phrasing is what makes him so popular. Clint Eastwood’s Academy Award-winning film Million Dollar Baby features his guitar playing. His devotion to sharing knowledge-particularly with children-has been a constant throughout his career. He has been a teacher since his teens and is well-aware of the needs and wants of musicians. Many of his students have gone on to be recording and performing stars. He has been an ‘artist-in-residence’ at many music workshops around the world, and has also conducted seminars at universities and conservatories across four continents. He is currently a resident at USC’s Thornton School of Music, and a long-standing member of Monterey Jazz Festival’s Education Program. He founded JazzMasters Workshop in January 2000. This music-mentoring program is open to all student musicians. JazzMasters was established in 2001 and has since operated more than 2,000 workshops across the country. Many of the greatest recording and touring artists in the world have had the chance to interact with young people and make a difference in their communities through JazzMasters Workshops. The Jazz Journalist’s Association presented an award for “Service to and Beyond Jazz” in June 2003. Bruce’s cowboy bebop group Cow Bop took part in the ‘Route 66 Challenge, securing pledges per mile for the organization. These oddyseys have occurred many times since the 2004 first trip. All daily journals and pictures for the trips are archived at Bruce Forman’s music publications exemplify his passion for music and educating. The Jazz Guitarists Handbook (GSP Publications) is a highly acclaimed method book that clarifies jazz concepts from a performance-based perspective. Jazz Band Guitar (Mel Bay Publications) is a straightforward guide to big band guitar for all levels. His video Jazz Guitar Soloing (GSP) demonstrates the essential musical elements that make up a swinging solo. Lost Coast Press published his first fiction novel, Trust Me in April 2003. This story tells the tale of a Faustian frolic about a guitarist’s journey through jazz, mysticism and human folly. The book has been praised for its depiction of jazz music and the jazz lifestyle. As a leader, he has 13 recordings, with the latest being Dedication, Bootleg Vol., which he self-produced. BluJazz Records reissued I in September 2003. It contains a collection of arrangements and compositions that reflect his appreciation of many musicians and the experiences that influenced his music. Bruce was a prominent sideman on Ray Brown’s 2002 release, Some of my favorite fiends, Guitarists. Cow Bop, a western and jazz band featuring Bruce Forman, won the Route 66 Challenge in 2004. They traveled the entire length of the famous road with just $100, no scheduled gigs, and had left Chicago with only $100. The group’s CD Swingin’ out West and its follow-up CD Route 66 were well received and charted in four categories: Jazz, Americana and College. from

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