JOHN SCOFIELD’s influence began in the late ’70s and is going strong today. Possessor of a very distinctive sound and stylistic diversity, Scofield is a masterful jazz improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, funk-edged jazz, and R&B.
Born in Ohio and raised in suburban Connecticut, Scofield took up the guitar at age 11, having been inspired by both rock and blues players. Later, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. After a debut recording with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, Scofield was a member of the Billy Cobham-George Duke band for two years. In 1977 he recorded with Charles Mingus, and joined the Gary Burton quartet. He began his international career as a bandleader and recording artist in 1978. From 1982-1985, Scofield toured and recorded with Miles Davis. His Davis stint placed him firmly in the foreground of jazz consciousness as a player and composer.
Since that time he has led his own prominent groups in the international jazz scene, recorded over 30 albums as a leader (many already classics) – including collaborations with contemporary favorites like Pat Metheny; Charlie Haden; Eddie Harris; Medeski, Martin & Wood; Bill Frisell; Brad Mehldau; Mavis Staples; Government Mule; Jack DeJohnette; Joe Lovano; and Phil Lesh. He’s played and recorded with Tony Williams, Jim Hall, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Dave Holland, and Terumasa Hino, among many jazz legends. Throughout his career Scofield has punctuated his traditional jazz offerings with funk-oriented electric music. All along, the guitarist has kept an open musical mind.
Touring the world approximately 200 days per year with his own groups, he is also an Adjunct Professor of Music at New York University, a husband, and a father of two.