Title/Position: Lecturer, Jazz GuitarProfile:
Why did you choose music as your career? Who were your early influences?
I started playing guitar at the age of 12, by the time I was in high school I was playing in bands and not interested in much else! I had several teachers in high school who were very influential in steering me towards music. I went to University of Miami on a Presidential Scholarship and that really solidified my path as a musician.
What would you say are the most outstanding highlights of your professional life to date?
Recording albums as a leader for major labels Blue Note and Concord. Headlining at Vancouver, Edinburgh and Montreaux Jazz Festivals. Also finding myself on the bandstand with my heroes, musicians that I listened to on records when I was coming up. Every performance has the potential to be a career highlight.
Why should a potential student choose the Frost School of Music?
I know from my own experience that the Frost School provides a thorough music education, one that I appreciated even more after I moved to NY and began working. I had a firm background in theory, harmony, composition, sight reading and an understanding of what was required to be able to handle a myriad of gigs. The school has moved in step with technological advances and the changing times and remains one of the top music schools in the country.
What do you hope to pass on to your students?
I want all my students to find that place inside which makes them unique. To be able to take the tools that they are developing and transcend them. The ultimate goal is to become an artist rather than a technician.
What music have you been listening to lately?
My listening tastes are very eclectic, jazz, classical, bluegrass, pop music etc. Favorite jazz artists in no particular order, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard, Grant Green, the list could go on and on!
What do you expect from students at the Frost School of Music?
That they be motivated, hard working and above all curious.
Jazz guitarist John Hart is a lecturer at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. A New York fixture for 29 years, he is one of the most prolific and versatile guitarists on the jazz scene today. He released eight CDs as bandleader on such prestigious labels as Blue Note and Concord and has appeared on over 100 CDs as a sideman, including a 16-year stint with organist Jack McDuff. JazzTimes wrote, “An alum of the Brother Jack McDuff University of Jazz Guitar, John Hart can burn his way through blues changes on a level that’s right up there with fellow graduates George Benson and Pat Martino.” John Hart has also worked with Jimmy Smith, James Moody, Jon Hendricks, Brian Blade, Chris Potter, Larry Goldings, Bob Belden, Javon Jackson and vocalists Lizz Wright and Hilary Kole. He has played with the Maria Schneider Orchestra for the last 20 years.
John Hart has headlined at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Nairn Jazz Festival, Victoria Jazz Festival and many of the premier jazz clubs in the USA. He is featured on soundtracks including HBO’s Sex in the City and appeared on the Garrison Keillor Show with the popular band Pink Martini. In 1992 he formed the John Hart Quartet featuring young star Chris Potter. The band toured extensively for seven years, was featured on NPR’s Jazzset and recorded one album for Concord Records. In 2001 he formed the John Hart Trio and recorded three CDs for Hep Records. Recent recordings include a jazz organ trio CD on the Index Jazz label.