Born: May 20, 1966 Primary Instrument: Guitar, electric
Guitarist Sheryl Bailey is rated among the foremost bopbased guitarists to have emerged in the 1990’s. Her attack can be direct and hard swinging, but she also exudes subtlety, elegance of phrase and a pure, warm, liquid sound. Bill Milkowski has written about her: “a modernist burner with an abundance of Pat Martino-style chops, Bailey prefers angular lines, odd harmonies and the occasional touch of dissonance as she sails up and down the fretboard with fluid abandon.” - JazzTimes Magazine, Februrary 2005
Her musical activities aren’t confined to groups working strictly in the orthodox, bop based jazz tradition, as she has toured and recorded with bassist, Richard Bona and is a member of David Krakauer’s Klezmer Madness. Other artists are tenor saxophonist, Gary Thomas, Urban Folk and Jazz artist, KJ Denhert, and pop diva, Irene Cara. While her mid 1990’s CD Little Misunderstood sees her playing with total familiarity and command of the fusion idiom, her latest releases, Reunion of Souls, The Power of Three, and Bull’s Eye represent her love of contemporary straight-ahead jazz.
In 1995 Sheryl was awarded third place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Guitar Competition, and has toured South America on behalf of the US State Department as a Jazz Ambassador, honoring the music of Duke Ellington. She currently leads her own trio, The Sheryl Bailey Three (Gary Versace on Hammond B3 and Ian Froman on drums). Her 2002 release, The Power of Three was critically acclaimed and charted in the top 20 of the Jazz Week radio charts. The trio conjures the essence of the Grant Green/ Larry Young/ Elvin Jones band of the late 60’s.
She is also in demand as an educator. Sheryl has been an Assistant Professor of Guitar at the esteemed Berklee College of Music since 2000, and has been a popular clinician at the National Guitar Summer workshop, The Stanford Jazz Workshop, The Duquesne Jazz Guitar Seminar, Uarts in Philadelphia, and at Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia.
Sheryl’s latest release is titled, Bull’s Eye. The CD features nine new compositions and tightly woven improvisations from the trio. A track from the disc, “ Old and Young Blues” will be featured in the Master Anthology of Jazz solos, vol. IV by Mel Bay in January 2005. She is also working on a book for Mel Bay about modern approaches to jazz improvisation. She keeps a hectic itinerary touring, teaching, and recording.
Her next release is scheduled for September of 2006: The Sheryl Bailey 3: Live @ the Fat Cat - recorded over two evenings in November 2005 with Gary Versace on hammond B3 and Ian Froman on drums. The new collection features 7 new tunes, plus live takes of 3 past favorites. This release captures the excitement of the trio in their natural habitat.
One of jazz guitars current front runners.
John Heidt, Vintage Guitar Magazine 2007
Move over Mike Stern!
Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times Magazine 2007
Bailey plays with power and drive.
Always lush and lyrical - her sound displays a lovely sinewy edge that allows the listenere to glean every nook and cranny of her wonderful style.
Darrin Fox, Guitar Player Magazine 2005
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New York, NY
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Associate Professor of Guitar Berklee College of Music since 2000, Faculty at The Collective NYC, National Guitar Workshop Jazz Resident, Clinics throughout Europe, US and Australia.
Concepts of developing improvisation through deeper understandings of how harmony connects. Topics include using chord tones, melodic embellishments, use of the Jazz Melodic Minor scale, upper structure triads, chord substitutions, rhythmic clarity, and composition.