Grammy Winning Jazz Guitarist: Mark Whitfield

Written By Sonny Akbar Sembada

Hi, my name is Sonny Akbar Sembada and I welcome you to my blog, The Uncle Jazz. The main topic of my blog is everything related to jazz music.. 

The world of Grammy Winning Jazz Guitarist Mark Whitfield – born and bred in New York City, kicking it off on October 6, 1966.

This dude graduated from Berklee College of Music in ’87, soaking in everything from composition to film scores, and oh, mastering those slick guitar styles too.

Grammy Winning Jazz Guitarist Mark Whitfield: Jazz Vibes All Day

So, back in ’87, he’s back in the Big Apple, and bam, he’s hitting the professional scene.

In just a few months, he’s sharing the stage and recording with big names like Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Smith, and Herbie Hancock – you know, the legends. The guy’s on fire, making a name for himself in the jazz game.

Grammy Win for “For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver” – Just Another Day

Now, let’s talk recent wins grammy winning jazz guitarist. Mark, along with Joey Defrancesco and the Christian McBride Big Band, snags a Grammy in 2022 for “For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver” – Best Large Jazz Ensemble. No biggie, right? This collab with McBride goes way back, like more than 30 years to their “Jazz Futures” days, kicking off the career of the late Roy Hargrove.

Read also: The Career of Jazz Musician: Kenny Garrett’s The Saxophone Maestro

Oh, and The New York Times throws some love, calling Whitfield the “Best Young Guitarist in the Business.” In ’90, Warner Brothers Records drops his solo debut, “The Marksman.” Critics love it, fans dig it – a solid start.

Over the next years, he throws out a couple more with Warner Brothers, then five with Verve Polygram Label, and two with Herbie Hancock’s Transparent Music. Mark’s not sticking to traditional jazz – he’s mingling with pop stars like D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, and The Roots. Talk about crossing genres!

Youtube video by Mark Whitfield

TV and Film Buzz

Mark’s music isn’t just about jazz clubs; it’s got its spot on TV and in movies too. Twelve episodes of ABC’s “Moon Over Miami,” a movie with Wynton Marsalis called “Tune In Tomorrow,” and a run on NBC’s “Shannon’s Deal.” Oh, and catch him in Robert Altman’s “Kansas City” or the HBO film “The Soul of the Game.”

And get this – his original track “The Blues From Way Back” from “The Marksman” soundtrack? Yeah, that made it to the movie “One Night Stand” with Nastassia Kinski, Wesley Snipes, and RDJ.

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