MIMI FOX - Internationally
renowned guitarist/composer/recording artist Mimi Fox has been named a winner in
6 consecutive Downbeat Magazine international critic's polls and has been
recognized by writers and colleagues alike as one of the most eloquent jazz
guitarists on today's scene. In one of many feature stories, Guitar Player
Magazine hailed Mimi as "a prodigious talent who has not only mastered the
traditional forms but has managed to reinvigorate them."
Mimi has performed/recorded with some of jazz's most commanding players,
including fellow guitarists Charlie Byrd, Stanley Jordan, Charlie Hunter, and
Mundell Lowe, Grammy-nominated saxophonists Branford Marsalis, David Sanchez and
Houston Person, and the late Don Lanphere, vocalists Abbey Lincoln, Diana Krall,
Kevin Mahogany and Janis Siegel (Manhattan Transfer), B3 organ masters Joey
DeFrancesco, Barbara Denerlein and Dr. Lonnie Smith, and powerhouse drummer
Terri Lyne Carrington. She has also performed outside of the jazz world with
legends Stevie Wonder and John Sebastian and with Patty Larkin's Vanguard
Records-produced La Guitara project.
Mimi has released eight highly acclaimed albums as a leader, including her two
most recent on Steve Vai's Favored Nations label. 2006's double CD, Perpetually
Hip, received rave reviews from scores of publications including the San
Francisco Chronicle, which called this project Fox's "Masterwork" and said: "The
two discs stand as a definitive Fox statement. The first showcases her simmering
interplay with a quartet featuring drum maestro Billy Hart, while the second
captures her breathtaking solo style in an approach that is as harmonically
resourceful as it is lyrically inventive."
Fox had already established her credentials as a worthy successor to Joe Pass
with the astonishing 2001 Origin Records solo album, Standards. In a glowing
Cadence Magazine review, Jim Josselyn said: "to say Mimi Fox's touch, sound,
sensitivity and understanding of the guitar as a solo vehicle of expression is
masterful would be an understatement. This is simply some of the best guitar
music I have heard."
Fox introduced herself to the international jazz scene in the 1990s with a pair
of CDs on Monarch Records including Kicks, a high energy project pairing her
with collaborators such as Joey DeFrancesco and Yellowjackets Russell Ferrante
and Will Kenney. Allaboutjazz.com awarded the album a superlative four star
rating: "This is a strongly melodic collection and one that swings out
stylishly. Mimi Fox is a major talent."
Mimi maintains a whirlwind touring schedule, playing major festivals from New
York to Tokyo, including tours of the Caribbean, Japan, Thailand, Australia, New
Zealand and Europe. International festivals include the Montreal, Guinness Cork,
Perth International, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. Stateside, she has headlined
at elite venues such as The Blue Note, Merkin Concert Hall, and the Village Gate
in New York City, The Regattabar and Scullers in Boston, The Kennedy Center and
Blues Alley in Washington D.C., the Triple Door and Jazz Alley in Seattle, and
Yoshi's and the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.
As a composer, Mimi has written and performed original scores for orchestras,
documentary films and dance projects while receiving grants from prestigious
funders such as Meet the Composer and the California Arts Council. Mimi has
received repeated grants from the William James Association/California Arts
Council to give concerts and workshops in California prisons as part of the
highly successful Arts In Correction program. She has also appeared on numerous
television shows such as "BET on Jazz" and has been a guest on many radio shows,
including Marian McPartland's NPR program, "Piano Jazz".
As a devoted educator and clinician, Mimi has taught master classes worldwide
while serving as head of the guitar program at the Jazz School in Berkeley and
Adjunct Professor at New York University. In 2005, Mimi received an award from
the International Association Of Jazz Educators for outstanding service to jazz
education. She has published several popular instructional books and interactive
CD-Roms for Mel Bay Publications and True Fire.
Born in New York City, Fox started playing drums at nine and guitar when she was
ten. She was inspired by the wide variety of music enjoyed by her family - show
tunes, classical, Dixieland, Motown - and her own youthful inclination towards
pop, folk, and R&B. When she was fourteen, she bought her first jazz album. That
album, John Coltrane's classic Giant Steps, changed the course of her musical
life. She began touring right out of high school and eventually settled in the
San Francisco Bay area where she became a sought after player.
Whether delivering jaw-dropping solo sets, performing dazzling duets with
sympathetic partners, or leading a hard-charging combo, Mimi is a consummate
improviser who seizes the imagination of her listeners with her passion, soul,
and unerring ear for beauty.
Some notable quotes:
Mimi was a revelation to me the first time I heard her play. It wasn't just that
her technique is amazing, it's that she sounded very original to me. I was just
knocked out. -- NEA Master, guitarist Jim Hall
While Fox makes her first impression with her technical skills, it's her
emotional depth as a player that leaves an enduring mark. -- Andrew Gilbert,
Fox distinguishes herself as a remarkably accomplished straight ahead player
with flawless time, pristine execution, serious chops, a keen ear for
reharmonization and an inner urge to burn. -- Jazz Times
Guitarist Extraordinaire Mimi Fox presented a stunning set of music that kept
the audience riveted from the opening blues excursion to her immaculately
delivered solo. Fox's firm control, clarity of concept, and emotional depth made
this the most memorable moment of the festival. -- All About Jazz in a review of
Mimi's performance at the Kennedy Center.
From the opening notes that revealed a loving touch and superb control, Fox left
no doubt why she has received the highest praise from the highest places. Her
attention to detail and nuance lent her entire play list a feeling of adventure
and discovery. -- Arts and Opinion in a review of the Montreal Jazz Festival