Listening to Mark Fitchett play the guitar is like hearing the history of the electric guitar in a single artist. Inhabiting the space between jazz, rock, and blues, his playing exemplifies the best of each world while emphasizing his own unique approach and personality.
A musician for over 35 years, guitarist Mark Fitchett is an accomplished artist who’s compositional, and improvisational skills cross multiple musical boundaries. Through his original music, as well as his interpretations of jazz, blues, and rock standards, Fitchett’s unique approach to the guitar adds an exciting intensity to his ensemble and solo performances. He has been performing and recording in the South Bay and Los Angeles area since 1979 and as well as well as recording several CDs under his own name, his guitar work has been featured on television commercials, movie scores, and on many other artists’ recordings.
Fitchett started playing the guitar at age 13 he was absolutely fascinated with the concept of improvisation. As he recalls “I think it was when we were listening to Santana, Johnny Winter and Allman Brothers records that one of my friends mentioned that the guitarists were making their solos up on the spot. That just floored me, I couldn’t believe it! I knew right then and there that I had to be able to do that to.” These early influences started his lifelong love of improvisation, along with an insatiable quest for more musical knowledge.
As he progressed in his playing abilities, so he did with his musical tastes. He remembers “I was also into a lot of Creedence, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple in the beginning. One day an older friend of mine turned me on to a bunch of funk and jazz records by guys like Herbie Hancock, Lee Ritenouer, Robben Ford, Tower of Power and Larry Carlton. I suddenly became aware of music that was rhythmically and harmonically more progressive than the rock and blues I had been listening to.” That led to the discovery of Jeff Beck, Harvey Mandel (who was the first significant guitarist to utilize the fret board tapping technique popularized by Van Halen years later) Al DiMeola, Jimi Hendrix, Allan Holdsworth Joe Pass and Pat Martino. As he remembers, “Oh man, I was in guitar sensory overload. There were so many exciting guitarists around and I wanted to be like all of them!”