The guitarist formerly known as one of Boston's most eloquent inside players has become one of its leading experimenters, writes Boston Phoenix's Jon Garelick, who included Fewell's ensemble, the Variable Density Sound Orchestra, on his best of 2009 list. Fewell, a professor at Berklee College since 1977, has toured the globe for more than 35 years as one of the jazz world's premier performer/educators. He has released 13 recordings for Soul Note, Koch, Splasc(H), Boxholder, Accurate, Nubop and CNM Records. For the past decade, he has collaborated with such renowned avant-garde musicians as John Tchicai, Steve Swell, Roy Campbell, Khan Jamal, Borah Bergman and Curtis Clark. The Variable Density Sound Orchestra, founded in 2008, released three recordings on Creative Nation Music, and balances both aspects of Fewell's musical personality by showcasing the melodic accessibility and sturdy framework of his compositions as well as the unbridled freedom of free improvisation.
A renowned jazz educator Fewell has taught at European Conservatories including Rotterdam, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Graz, Cologne, Leipzig, Warsaw, Krakow, the American School of Modern Music in Paris, and at McGill and Laval University in Canada, and conducted workshops for the International Association of Jazz Educators in New York City, Toronto, and the Montreux Jazz Festival. He taught at the Polish Jazz Society Summer Workshops, the New School (NY) at Veneto Jazz, Italy, and is the ear training and guitar instructor for Global Music Foundation at seminars across Europe.