Among guitarists and critics, Woody Mann is considered a modern master. While the blues are his touchstone, he seems to draw inspiration from every direction with ease and grace. Pioneering guitar legend John Fahey said it well: “You can hear classical, jazz and blues approaches somehow converging into a single sparkling sound completely his own.”
Mann has pursued a rich and diverse career; he has performed everywhere from the orchestra pits of Broadway to stages worldwide, recorded extensively, and schooled countless guitarists through his many books and DVDs including “The Art of Acoustic Blues Guitar” DVD series, “The Complete Acoustic Blues Guitar Method”, and his latest DVD “Take Command of Your Fretboard”, for Homespun Tapes.
From his first solo recording “Stairwell Serenade” that Guitar Player Magazine included in their “guitar recordings of destiny”, Woody has since recorded over a dozen releases as a soloist and in collaboration with others including blues greats Son House, Bukka White, and John Cephas. His latest CD’s are “Tribute to the Reverend”, and “Conversations”, a jazz outing with saxophonist Charley Krachy. Both feature Mann’s original compositions.
As a producer, writer and filmmaker he has co-produced the award winning feature documentary, “Harlem Street Singer”, the story of Reverend Gary Davis, the legendary Gospel, blues, and ragtime guitarist, produced the soundtrack CD “Empire Root Band”, and penned his latest book “Just Play”, combines history and stories of artists Woody has known and worked with including his early mentors Reverend Gary Davis and jazz great Lennie Tristano.
Mann has taught at the major guitar workshops in the USA and Europe including Fur Peace Ranch and Port Townsend Centrum, been a faculty member at the New School in New York City, founded International Guitar Seminars, and created his own innovative online teaching website. Acknowledging his artistry, the C.F. Martin guitar company has honored Woody with the release of the “Woody Mann” signature model guitar. Presently, he is a visiting artist at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where he is teaching a new generation of musicians.
Throughout his career, Woody has not forgotten those early lessons in the Rev. Davis’ living room or the jazz traditions that were his wellspring. He has become one of the world’s renowned guitar masters – bringing the past up to the present – with his own contemporary improvisational style.
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The Times (London) said of Woody Mann, “Don’t miss a chance to see him; you are unlikely to hear anything – or anyone better in the field that Mann has chosen to master.” His playing is artful, musical, and so effortless that you almost forget the impossible difficulty of what he is doing. His music runs from country blues to jazz to his own well-crafted originals. He’s a wonderful singer, a charming entertainer, and a legend in the guitar world.
“Mann is simply spellbinding” – Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine (USA)
…”Mann has absorbed so many guitar styles that he can change moods on a dime, weaving lyrical single string lines and chord harmonies that can take his tunes across the musical divides between genres” – Acoustic Guitar Magazine…
“… Mann blurs the line between jazz, blues, classical, and world music creating his own sound in the process. Attempts to categorize his music simply miss the point. This is brilliant playing that demands to be heard.” –Sing Out Magazine
”Don’t miss a chance to see him; you are unlikely to hear anything- or anyone – better in the fields that Mann has chosen to master.” –The London Times.