Gary Wittner has been delighting audiences of all ages for over 25 years. He has been hired to play guitar, teach music and present music programs on 5 continents world wide.
Graduating from the Berklee College of Music in 1981, Gary began performing jazz standards and all-Monk concerts. After 3 years as a freelance guitarist, Gary began a Master's Degree program at Washington State University, where he completed his thesis (a study of Monk's compositional style) in 1986. From Washington, Gary was offered a faculty position at the University of Maine at Augusta. Based there until 1997, Gary taught/developed courses, was the Jazz and Contemporary Music Department Coordinator (1996) and received the University's Distinguished Scholar Award. An original faculty member of the International Summer Jazz Academy (Krakow, Poland), Gary has performed throughout Poland and worked with students from Poland, Denmark, Ukraine, France, Germany, Iceland, and Austria. Since 1997, Gary has divided his time between New York City, where he performs and teaches privately, and Maine where he teaches part time at the University of Southern Maine, Bowdoin College and Lincoln Academy.
Outside of the university, Gary continues to perform, arrange, and compose. To date he has performed jazz standards, original music, compositions by Thelonious Monk, and his interpretations of Blues/Folk Americana throughout the USA and in Canada, Poland, Russia, England, Wales, Austria, Ecuador, France, and Serbia. His 2 CD's as a leader, “Roadway” (1998), and “Now We’re Here” (2003) have received critical acclaim. Both feature tuba virtuoso Howard Johnson. Gary is a two time Kennedy Center/U.S. Department of State Jazz Ambassador, with performances at the Capitol Building, Kennedy Center, and tours of Fiji/Papua New Guinea (2003) and Serbia/Montenegro/Slovenia (2001). He is also the recipient of an International Association of Jazz Educators Artist Outreach Grant and a Maine Arts Commission Grant, partially funding a tour in S. Africa during the summer of 2006. He is a recipient of a Fullbright Grant to teach and perform in S. Africa the summer of 2008.
Gary has been a featured artist in concerts with Christian McBride, Reggie Workman, Richard Davis, Eddie Gomez, Clark Terry, and many other jazz luminaries. He has performed for the Monk family, and been interviewed on the radio with Thelonious Monk, Jr. Gary's first book "Thelonious Monk for Guitar" , published by the Hal Leonard Corp. was released internationally in 1999; additional articles have been published by Guitar Player, Coda, and the International Association of Jazz Educators. More info can be found at www.garywittner.com and at the following my space pages: