Andy Fite is a 50-year old jazz guitarist, singer, and songwriter living in Stockholm, Sweden since 1994. Before that he lived in New York City for ten years.
Already in his hometown of Pittsburgh Andy had the good luck to perform with most of the top local musicians, as well as with such illustrious visitors as Kenny Clarke, Billy Eckstine, Attila Zoller, Bucky Pizzarelli and Tal Farlow. Not to mention the Inkspots, the Four Aces, the Lettermen and Pia Zadora.
Arriving in New York in the mid-1980s, Andy began an intensive study of improvisation with pianist Connie Crothers, and very soon the insights he gained there led to a great breakthrough and an original style. Soon he was playing regularly with a number of close friends of the late pianist Lennie Tristano, a big hero and great source of inspiration in Andy’s music.
In 1987, Andy was invited to join the new co-operative record company New Artists Records (www.newartistsrecords.com), and there he made six CDs as leader or co-leader between 1988 and 1997. His playmates on these discs include Liz Gorrill, Red Mitchell, Bob Casanova, Carol Liebowitz and Roger Mancuso.
Since moving to Sweden, Andy has been more and more involved in writing and performing new songs, and the response has been excellent.
He has played with many of the top Swedish jazz musicians, and runs a monthly jam session at Café Aguéli in Stockholm where he tries to recreate the atmosphere of the sessions organized during his years in New York: an informal yet highly focused setting where musicians of different levels of accomplishment could meet and create together without getting hung up in a competitive mindset. His partner in this endeavor is bassist Ulf Åkerhielm.
He also performs with his own trio, with Ulf Åkerhielm and drummer Sebastian Voegler, primarily creating spontaneously improvised music from the jazz standard repertoire; and solo, singing and playing primarily his own songs (Andy Fite: Jazz Comic Philosopher).
He also works as a teacher, working with guitarists and singers as well as anyone else who wants to develop their capacity to express themselves more deeply, and especially spontaneously. He works in his own private studio and at Kulturama in Stockholm, and has guest-lectured at the Royal Academy of Music, Uppsala University, Birka Folkhögskola and Bollnäs Folkhögskola in Sweden, the Sibelius Academy and Oulu University in Finland, and elsewhere.
He is also a performer in children’s television in Sweden.
The photo above was taken by Christiane Scheffler.
Andy Fite's Jazz Lessons:
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