All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Terry Bartolotta

Terry Bartolotta

Guitarist, composer, educator, and bandleader Terry Bartolotta has been part of the Chicago jazz scene since 2006. He has performed with notable local musicians like: Rose Colella, Elaine Dame, Paul Marinaro, Art Davis, Joe Policastro, Alex Beltran, Chris Madsen, and Chris White. After receiving his Master’s Degree in jazz composition from Depaul in 2009, Bartolotta focused on composing for his jazz quintet, and in 2012, he released his debut cd, Above the Clouds. In the same year, he won the Union League Civic Arts Foundation Jazz Composition Award for his composition “Times Change.” The Terry Bartolotta Group is comprised of James Davis on trumpet, Alex Beltran on tenor sax, Joel Kelsey on bass, Lucas Gillan on drums, and Terry Bartolotta on guitar. This energetic group performs a mixture of originals and jazz standards. They are influenced by jazz artists like: John Coltrane, Brad Mehldau, Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver, and Wayne Shorter.

They have been featured at the Green Mill Lounge as part of the Chicago Composer's Collective, and at Jerry's for the Ears and Eyes Music Series. “Above the Clouds” has been played on NPR's “All Things Considered” as well as many other regional stations such as: WDCB Glen Ellyn, Northwestern Univ. Radio, WHPK Univ of Chicago Radio, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Triton College Radio. Also, the group was featured at the 2014 Elkhart Jazz Festival

Read more


”Chicago based guitarist Terry Bartolotta showcases his compositional skills on his relaxed and engaging debut album, Above the Clouds. Surrounded by sympathetic group of like-minded musicians, Bartolotta presents nine of his originals––solidly mainstream, but each with a unique flavor. The title track for example has a small group swing feel with the exuberant drive of the rhythm section over which Alex Beltran’s brassy tenor blows with big vibrato and sophisticated vigor. Bartolotta builds complex improvisations with his slow simmering guitar.”

-Hrayr Attarian in Chicago Jazz Magazine

Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


-Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Guitar Performance from Northern Illinois Univ. -Master's Degree in Jazz Composition from DePaul Univ. -3 years as Adjunct Guitar Instructor at College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL -Adjunct Guitar Instructor at Harold Washington College in Chicago, IL -Email me for hours and rates in Chicago area

Clinic/Workshop Information

"Fundamentals of Playing Jazz Guitar" Topics will include: harmony on the guitar, improvisation, repertoire, transcription, swing feel, and listening.



Slow Burn

Self Produced


Above the Clouds

Unknown label


Suspicious Character

From: Slow Burn
By Terry Bartolotta

Through the Square

From: Above the Clouds
By Terry Bartolotta


Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.