2022 Artists

Our guest artists share their knowledge and experiences with our students while visiting classes, conducting clinics, and performing concerts. Past Guest Artists include: Joe Satriani, Alex Lifeson (Rush), Robben Ford, John Scofield, Steve Vai, Randy Bachman, Paul Gilbert, Andy Summers (The Police), Billy Sheehan, Pierre Bensusan, John Petrucci (Dream Theater), John Abercrombie, Duke Robillard, Andy Timmons, Brent Mason, Mike Stern, John Knowles, Rik Emmett, John Jorgenson, Sue Foley, Jennifer Batten, Andy McKee, Orianthi, Paul DeLong, Tommy Emmanuel, Rhonda Smith, Guthrie Govan, Albert Lee, Eric Gales, and many more!

Our 2022 Guest Artists include:

 

Josh Smith (San Diego Session)

Blues rock guitar virtuoso, singer-songwriter and producer, Josh Smith, is hailed the world over as a master guitarist with raw talent and power to spare. Blending his signature mix of blues, rock and jazz into dynamic original songs, Smith is known for his incendiary live performances, whether at the Grammy Awards or the Kennedy Center Honors with Mick Jagger, Raphael Saadiq and others. Josh has been named the 16th best living blues guitar player in the world by Guitar World Magazine. Josh started playing guitar at age six. Praised as a blues prodigy by the time he was 12 years old, he began playing at professional blues jams in South Florida, sitting in with such greats as Jimmy Thackery, Tinsley Ellis, Kenny Neal, Lucky Peterson, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Double Trouble, Joanna Connor and Kim Simmonds, among others. Josh has released 11 albums. Along with touring the world, recording and performing with renowned artists such as BB King, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Johnson, Andy Timmons, Kirk Fletcher and others, Smith is also a producer and owns Flat V Studios in Los Angeles. He has produced artists Reese Wynans (Joe Bonamassa), Artur Menezes (winner of the Eric Clapton 2019 Crossroads Festival) Seth Rosenbloom, Jamey Arent and many more.

 

Stuart Hamm (Seattle Session)

Through his innovative work as a solo artist and his contributions as a sideman to Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, Stuart Hamm has firmly established himself as one of the most influential electric bassists of the past half-century. Extending the non-traditional function of the electric bass previously revolutionized by Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke in the 1970s, Hamm helped to reshape the contemporary concept of the bass guitar as an unaccompanied instrument with the utilization of polyphonic, two-handed tapping, slapping and popping techniques, chords, and harmonics. He was the first bassist to have a Signature Model Electric Bass with Fender, and has designed sounds and gear for the Hartke, Washburn, Warwick, Zoom and Korg musical corporations. As one of today’s leading bassists, Hamm has released six critically-acclaimed studio recordings and has enjoyed recording and touring stints with guitar icons Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Greg Howe and Frank Gambale. His long-time associations with Vai and Satriani garnered him award-winning recognition on a global scale, and as a result, Hamm has received an extensive list of accolades such as being voted “Best Jazz Bassist” and “Best Rock Bassist” multiple times in magazine polls conducted by several major print publications worldwide. As an educator, Hamm has released multiple best selling instructional courses.

Guthrie Trapp (Nashville Session)

Guthrie Trapp is one of Nashville’s preeminent guitar talents. His successful solo album, Pick Peace, served as a perfect template for Trapp’s brilliant mix of musical influences, exploring country, blues, Latin, reggae, jazz, rock and experimental music. As a member of dobro legend Jerry Douglas’ band for five years, Trapp played on the Grammy-nominated album Glide, and toured extensively throughout North America and the UK, taking the stage at New York City’s Blue Note, Radio City Music Hall, Celtic Connections and the Montreal Jazz Festival. Trapp is a versatile musician who crosses many genres with ease, taste and authenticity. Onstage or in the studio, Trapp has supported the world’s most talented and best-selling artists including Patty Loveless, Garth Brooks, John Oates, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill, Travis Tritt, Dolly Parton, Tim O’Brien, Delbert McClinton, Randy Travis, George Jones, Alison Krauss, Sam Bush, Tony Rice, Earl Scruggs, Lyle Lovett, Rosanne Cash, “Cowboy” Jack Clement and many others.

Mark Whitfield (Toronto Session)

A native New Yorker, Mark Whitfield graduated from Berklee College of Music to embark on a career as a jazz guitarist that afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with 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 greatest teacher and mentor, George Benson.  The New York Times dubbed Whitfield “The Best Young Guitarist in the Business” when his debut album “The Marksman” was released. This led to a recording career that has produced a total of 14 solo recordings and a myriad of collaborative efforts with some of the most important artists in recent years including Sting, Steven Tyler, D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, John Mayer, Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, Diana Krall, Christian McBride, Chris Botti, Roy Hargrove and Nicholas Payton.

 

 

Gary Hoey (Nashville Session)

World renowned blues/rock guitarist Gary Hoey’s first break came in 1987 when Ozzy Osbourne liked Hoey’s tape enough to fly him to LA for an audition. Zakk Wylde eventually wound up with the gig, however Ozzy recommended Hoey move to LA where he was certain he would get noticed, and so he did! In 1992 Gary’s cover of “Hocus Pocus” rocketed into Billboard’s Top 5. With a collection of 21 albums it’s no wonder Gary Hoey is listed as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time. In 1994 Hoey scored the successful “Endless Summer II” soundtrack. In 2012, he produced and co-wrote Lita Ford’s release “Living Like A Runaway” to rave reviews. He’s worked with legends like Joe Perry, Roger Daltrey, blues icon Johnny Winter, Robben Ford, and Leslie West to name just a few. He has toured and traded licks with the likes of Jeff Beck, Brian May of Queen, Ted Nugent, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Peter Frampton, and Dick Dale. Hoey has explored many styles of music in his career, but in 2013, came home to the Blues with his release of “Deja Blues.” 2016’s “Dust & Bones,” is an exuberant fusion of blues and rock. His latest release, “Neon Highway Blues”, carries the confidence and assuredness of a veteran, and the freshness of someone who’s still in the process of discovery and refinement — with the help of famous friends such as Eric Gales, Lance Lopez, and Josh Smith. Whatever style he plays, Gary Hoey is a fiery, charismatic player. Whether he’s playing scorching bluesy originals or blues/rock covers, his solos are thrilling and, one thing that remains consistent is Hoey’s impassioned command of the guitar. He can attack his instrument with feral intensity and then play something very soft and achingly beautiful. This ability to mix feeling, phrasing, technique and tone is the true mark of a master guitarist.

Mark Lettieri (San Diego Session)

Mark Lettieri is a guitarist, composer, and producer based in Fort Worth, TX. Proficient in a multitude of styles, he records and performs in virtually every genre of popular music with both independent and major label artists. He also composes and produces original instrumental music under his own name. Playing in the vibrant gospel and R&B scene led Lettieri to join jazz / world group Snarky Puppy in 2008, where he contributes as guitarist, as well as arranger and composer. The group has earned three GRAMMY Awards and tours constantly, having performed on every continent except Antarctica. Outside of Snarky Puppy, Lettieri has released six albums as a leader and his most recent is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category. Due in large part to Lettieri’s vibrant social media presence, these records have created a sizable buzz among fans of instrumental music worldwide. He performs this music live in a quartet format as the Mark Lettieri Group. Mark has also appeared on four releases by The Fearless Flyers quartet. As an in demand session guitarist and touring sideman, Lettieri has logged miles with neo soul icon Erykah Badu, gospel singer Anthony Evans, and American Idol winner Phillip Phillips. He’s also performed with a myriad of other artists, including Nelly, Anthony Evans, Chrisette Michele, Myron Butler, N’dambi, Bilal, and even comedians Dave Chappelle and Harry Shearer. Session recording work includes artists such as David Crosby, Kirk Franklin, The Jacksons, Fred Hammond, Tori Kelly, 50 Cent, Ledisi, Tamela Mann, Eric Roberson, Lecrae, Lupe Fiasco, Keyshia Cole, and Xzibit.

David Grissom (Seattle Session)

David Grissom has worked with artists such as Buddy Guy, John Mellencamp, Joe Ely, Storyville, The Allman Brothers Band, The Dixie Chicks, Chris Isaak, Robben Ford, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Montgomery Gentry, Ringo Starr, and John Mayall. His songs have been recorded by Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, John Mayall, Rita Coolidge and Storyville among others. David moved to Austin in 1983 and quickly became a stalwart on the vibrant local scene. He joined Texas legend Joe Ely’s band in 1985 and toured and recorded non-stop until 1991 when he joined John Mellencamp’s band. David made 3 records with John and toured extensively from 1991 through 1993. After, Mellencamp, David went back to Texas to form Storyville, the band that included the Double Trouble rhythm section and powerhouse vocalist Malford Milligan. Since 2000, David has divided his time between recording sessions, including four Buddy Guy records, and scores of Americana releases, along with touring with the Dixie Chicks from 2003-2007, and playing hundreds of live gigs, designing signature guitars and amps with PRS Guitars, and producing his five solo CD’s.

Antoine Dufour (Toronto Session)

Antoine Dufour is known colloquially among the best guitar players in the world as a musician’s musician. To fans of popular music, he deftly combines jaw-dropping guitar playing skills and an artistic soul in crafting instrumental compositions. Via his seven albums of original material released to critical acclaim, two live performance DVDs, 6 years of global touring and more than 50 million cumulative views on YouTube, Antoine Dufour has emerged as a young star of fingerstyle acoustic guitar, building a worldwide reputation for innovation and creativity. Antoine’s records of accomplishment include winning first place at the Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Championships, third place at the ultra-prestigious international guitar championships at Winfield, recording for the leading Instrumental music record label Candyrat, plus touring and playing with luminary guitar players such as Andy McKee and Don Ross.