Born: September 5, 1958 | Died: February 8, 2012 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Frank Jolliffe was a pioneering jazz instrumentalist specializing in touchstyle instruments--a term he coined that came to be widely used to describe the Chapman Stick, Warr guitar and other stringed instrument tapped with the fingers of both hands simultaneously--combining the ranges of both bass and guitar while maintaining their own unique sound.
Jolliffe performed jazz standards, original compositions and free improvisation, playing throughout the U.S. and Europe. He performed at a number of venues in New York City, including Rick's Café, the Star and Garter, the West Boondock Café, the 55 Bar, the Knitting Factory, and the Hennessey Cognac Village Jazz Festival. His European appearances included the Gaume Jazz Festival, Belgium; The Jazz Cafe, London; Passage du Nord-Ouest, Paris; Cafe Opera, Germany; and the 2nd Rassegna Internazionale “Castelfranco Jazz,” Italy.
After establishing his reputation as a Stick® player, Jolliffe expanded his sonic palette with the Warr guitar. His early releases, Solo Stick, and Live on Comcast and In the Pocket with Jim Mason on drums, showcased his jazz style and technique. Jolliffe's later multi-dimensional sound was featured in the electro-acoustic quintet ArtCrime and the avant-garde ensemble The Flying Particles. Getting back to his roots, Jolliffe also devoted some time to the 6-string archtop guitar in his later years.
As a jazz educator and specialist in touchstyle methods, Jolliffe taught at the National Guitar Summer Workshop, the European “Tap” Seminar and the Hartford Camerata Conservatory. “When I teach,” remarked Jolliffe, “I incorporate techniques and styles to allow my students to play in different genres, such as pop, rock, world music and of course, jazz.”
Frank Jolliffe's publications included The TouchStyle Songbook™ and The TouchStyle Quarterly™, a newsletter for tap players. Jolliffe studied privately with guitarist Bruce Arnold, a protege of the widely influential music teacher Charlie Banacos. Jolliffe was a featured performer at the Warr Guitars NAMM booth for three years.
Frank held a BA in Jazz Studies from William Paterson University and Masters in Library Science from Rutgers University. He was the metadata consultant for Jazz Studies Online and a test editor on J-DISC, an online jazz discography, both produced by the Columbia University Center for Jazz Studies.
With The Flying Particles, Totems (Sonic Utensil, 2011) With ArtCrime, ArtCrime (Unseen Rain, 2012)
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