Guitarist/composer A. Spencer Barefield has received numerous grants for compositions from ArtServe Michigan-MCACA, Meet-the- Composer/NEA Commission USA, Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest, National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts, Arts Midwest and others.
He has toured and recorded in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, extensively as a leader, soloist, and with Lester Bowie, Roscoe Mitchell, Oliver Lake, Andrew Cyrille, Richard Davis and others. Barefield’s recordings “Live Detroit” and “Xenogenesis 2000” (CAC label), and his Sound Aspects (Germany) releases “After the End” and “Live at Leverkusen” have received rave international reviews and honors, including best new release in Cadence Critics’ Poll, Jazz Times (guitar issue), Metro Times Music Awards and others.
He is the Artistic and Executive Director of the Creative Arts Collective (CAC), whose concerts at the Detroit Institute of Arts and elsewhere earned CAC the Michigan’s Governor’s Arts Award for excellence and international recognition for its innovative presentations. Over a hundred of CAC’s concerts have been broadcast on National Public Radio. Barefield has taught guitar and improvisation at the University of Michigan School of Music and elsewhere.