Guitarist – The Jazzaar Festival Big Band
“For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver”, a recording by the Christian Mcbride Big Band featuring Mark Whitfield and Joey Defrancesco has received the 2022 Grammy nomination for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble”! This is the most recent collaboration between Whitfield and McBride, a musical relationship that began over 30 years ago when they were both featured members of the “Jazz Futures”, an All-Star Jazz Band that also launched the career of the late Roy Hargrove.
Mark Whitfield graduated from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, the world’s foremost institution for the study of Jazz and modern American music in the spring of 1987. Shortly thereafter, he returned to his native New York to embark on a career as a Jazz Guitarist that has afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with such legendary artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, Carmen McRae, Gladys Knight, Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Smith, Clark Terry, Shirley Horn, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Joe Williams, Stanley Turrentine and his mentor, the great George Benson.
In 1990 the New York Times dubbed Whitfield “The Best Young Guitarist in the Business”. Later that year, Warner Bros. released his debut album “The Marksman”. The success of his debut release led to a recording career that has produced a total of 16 solo recordings and a myriad of collaborative efforts with some of the most important artists in recent years; Sting, Steven Tyler, D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, John Mayer, Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, Diana Krall, Chris Botti, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, Robert Glasper, and the aforementioned Christian Mcbride.
Mark Whitfield remains extremely active as a performer, recording artist, and sideman and as a highly sought-after instructor and master clinician. Along with this most recent Grammy nomination, 2022 will see the release of several new projects that feature Whitfield’s talents as a guitarist, composer, and producer.