John Scofield: An American Jazz-Rock Icon

Written by on March 3, 2015

john scofield

The Biography of the Talented John Scofield

John Scofield, who is also known as “Sco”, is an American jazz-rock guitarist and composer. His music is a great combination of jazz, post-bop, jazz fusion, jazz funk, acid jazz and nu jazz.  He was born on December 26, 1951 and started playing the guitar at age 11. In 1970-1973 Scofield studied at Berklee College of Music. He then started recording with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker at Carnegie Hall, and became a member of the Billy Cobham-George Duke band for two years. In 1977 he recorded with Charles Mingus, and later joined the Gary Burton quartet and Dave Liebman’s quintet. He continued on to start his international career as a bandleader and recording artist in 1978. Soon after that he toured with Miles Davis in 1982-1985 and since then has led his own groups in the international jazz scene.

As a leader he has recorded over 30 albums and has played, as well as recorded with many musicians such as Tony Williams, Jim Hall, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, David Holland, and Terumasa Hino among many other jazz legends. In 1998, he was granted the Miles Davis Award by the Montreal International Jazz Festival.  In the late September of 1999, Scofield teamed up with Gov’t Mule in Georgia for two legendary shows. Those shows were originally recorded with the intention of a release as a live album, but due to Woody’s premature death, plans were changed. What makes the album Sco- Mule so special is that there wasn’t any audience recordings from these two shows, making this album the only way to relive what took place that night. The album includes the famous original trio from Gov’t Mule, the guitarist and vocalist Warren Haynes, the bassist Allen Woody, and the drummer Matt Abts, commenced with the guitarist John Scofield. The album also includes keyboardist Dr. Dan Matrazzo. Sco-mule was a fluid collection of live instrumental songs that include jazz and blues, funk, southern rock and soul.

Along with John Scofield being a well-known guitarist and touring 200 days per year with his own groups, he is also an Adjunct Professor of Music at New York University. While holding those positions he is also a husband and proud father of two children. Scofield’s guitar work has influenced jazz since he first began and still continues to do so every day. To listen to more of his great work, tune in to for a live stream of awesome tunes!

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