Adjunct Instructor of Studio/Jazz Guitar
(213) 740-3119 phone
(213) 740-3119 phone
Biography“Bruce Forman is one of the great lights of our age.” Barney Kessel, Jazz Times
“Bruce Forman is a wonderful guitarist; extremely versatile and very musical…a first-rate accompanist and soloist.” Kenny Burrell
Bruce Forman’s guitar style has been an important part of the international jazz scene for more than two decades. He has been featured as leader as well as sideman at most of the prestigious festivals and concert venues throughout the world. His numerous recording and performing credits include Bobby Hutcherson, Ray Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Richie Cole, Joe Henderson, Barney Kessel, and many others. Known for his swinging bop-style phrasing and inventive harmonizations, his ability to work in a variety of settings keeps him in constant demand. Among his many credits, his guitar work is featured throughout Clint Eastwood’s Academy Award-winning film, Million Dollar Baby.
His devotion to sharing his knowledge—particularly with children—has been a constant throughout his career. Having taught since his late teens, he is keenly aware of the needs of developing musicians and is personally connected to all of his students, many of whom have moved on to successful careers as recording and performing artists. He has conducted numerous music workshops at conservatories, universities and camps across four continents, is a Resource Team member for the IAJE and a longstanding member of the Monterey Jazz Festival Education Program. He is currently in residence at USC’s Thornton School of Music.
In January 2000, he founded JazzMasters Workshop, a music-mentoring program that is free-of-charge to student-age musicians. Beginning in 2001, JazzMasters achieved non-profit 501(c)(3) status and has provided more than 1,750 workshops for children of diverse ages, abilities and backgrounds. Through JazzMasters Workshops’ auspices, musicians in communities throughout the country and many of the world’s greatest touring and recording artists have had the opportunity to inspire, nurture and interact with the upcoming generation. In June 2003, the Jazz Journalist’s Association recognized this work by bestowing an award for “Service To and Beyond Jazz.”
Bruce Forman’s music publications exemplify his passion for music and educating. The Jazz Guitarists Handbook, (GSP Publications), is a critically acclaimed method book that clarifies the concepts of jazz from a performance-based point of view. Jazz Band Guitar (Mel Bay Publications), is a no-nonsense approach to the big band for guitarists of all levels. His video, Jazz Guitar Soloing (GSP), encompasses the important musical aspects that make up an expressive and swinging solo.
In April 2003, his first published fiction novel, Trust Me, was released by Lost Coast Press. The story is a Faustian frolic, a guitarist’s personal odyssey through jazz, mysticism, and human folly. It has received rave reviews for its portrayal of playing music and the jazz life.
He has thirteen recordings as leader, the most recent entitled Dedication, Bootleg Vol. I (BluJazz Records), a selection of compositions and arrangements that reveal his personal acknowledgment of many of the musicians and experiences that shaped his music. Among his numerous recordings as sideman, Bruce was prominently featured on Ray Brown’s CD, Some of my best friends are Guitarists, released in 2002.
In 2004, Cow Bop, a jazz and western swing band featuring Bruce Forman won the Route 66 Challenge, having departed Chicago with $100 and no scheduled gigs. The band’s CD, Swingin’ Out West, received wide acclaim and charted on radio in four different categories. The band’s new recording, Route 66, released April of 2008 featuring Monty Alexander and Dan Hicks, commemorates the band’s third successful tour down the historic byway.
March 2007 was the world premiere of The Red Guitar, a jazz libretto, words and music by Bruce Forman…a one-man perspective into the life of a musician and an exploration of the creative process. The show was met with great acclaim and plans for a national tour are in progress.