When you think of the Amish countryside, jazz guitar rarely
comes to mind. But thats where you'll find San Francisco Bay Area based jazz guitarist
Jeff Massanari's roots firmly placed! Jeff was born in the town of Goshen, Indiana and could have easily followed in the footsteps
of his father and brothers with a career in academia, but
an unexpected move to Washington DC at age 9 led Jeff down
a very different path.
Exposed to the vibrant music scene of Washington, DC, Jeff sought out the guitar
and began playing at age 13. First focusing on blues and rock
that was all to change when a friend brought over a recording
of John McLaughlin's "Inner Mounting Flame". From
the first note Jeff was hooked on jazz. By the time he was
17 he was performing and teaching jazz and blues in the Washington
Jeff's love of jazz took him from DC to Boston's Berklee School
of Music. After studying performance and composition, Jeff
moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and quickly
became one of the most in-demand guitarists.
Jeff has performed with many of the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier
artists including vocalists, Paula West, Brenda Boykin,
Denise Perrier, Nicholas Beard, Kenny Washington and Pamela
Rose. Instrumentalists Wally Schnalle, Jeff Pittson,
Charles McNeil, Vince Lateano ,and Jeff Chambers. In addition
to performing with his own groups, Jeff regularly plays with
The Johnny Nocturne Band, The Murasaki Ensemble, Swing Fever
and countless other musicians in the Jazz, Blues, and World
Jeff has performed at Yoshi’s international Jazz House,
Pearl’s, Davies Symphony Hall, national festivals including,
San Jose Jazz Festival, Fillmore Jazz Festival, North Beach Jazz Festival,
The Sausalito Arts Festival. internationally Jeff has performed in Japan, Sweden,
Finland, Guam, and Italy at the Umbria Jazz Festival.
Jeff's original compositions have been featured
on network television with the Patagonia “Save the Oceans”
campaign and on a “Key Bell” commercial playing
on Lifetime and BET. Jeff was also featured on an Apple video at a Macworld convention.
Jeff’s first four CD’s received excellent
reviews in Guitar Player Magazine, Cadence, and kudo's from such
respected players as Mike Stern and Eric Johnson. He has just
finished recording his fifth CD ”Groovework”
an all original Jazz-Funk project featuring Wally Schnalle
on drums, Jeff Pittson on keys, with Brad Russell and Jason
Muscat on bass. “groovework” is available on CDBABY.com!
Jeff has taught at U.C. Berkeley, The Jazz
School, Jazz Camp West, Bruce Forman’s Jazzmaster series,
and Blue Bear Music School.