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born July 22, 1953 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a master jazz guitarist and jazz
educator. One of the most critically acclaimed jazz guitarist performing today, Jimmy
Bruno came to prominence as a jazz musician in the 1990’s, after a successful twenty-
year career as a sought-after commercial guitarist and session musician.
“Get on the bus-we leave tonight”
Those were the words that began Jimmy Bruno’s professional career as a guitarist. Most
of the other guitarists auditioning for Buddy Rich’s band that day in 1973 were getting
drumsticks thrown at them, Buddy’s not-so-subtle way of showing disapproval. But not
19 year-old Jimmy; he got the gig. A Philadelphia native, he was born into a family no
strangers to the music world. Jimmy’s father played guitar on the 1959 hit “Guitar Boogie
Shuffle” with Frank Virtue. Jimmy’s mom was a gifted singer. Living in such a musical
household, playing guitar 8 to 10 hours a day was normal for this south Philly kid. He
hungrily soaked up everything his father could teach him, landing on national television at
age 13, the winner of the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour. Soon he was studying jazz
improvisation with local bass legend Al Stauffer. To develop technique, he taught himself
to play the violin etudes of Wohlfahrt and Paganini. Although he briefly considered
leveraging his perfect SAT scores into medical school, a summer guitar gig in Wildwood NJ
(with Larry Cartell), changed the direction of Jimmy’s life forever. He was 17 and has never
had a job unrelated to guitar playing since.
After a whirlwind round-the-world tour as the youngest member of the Buddy Rich
Orchestra, he went on to play guitar in orchestras for Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton, Lena
Horne, and many more music icons. During his years as an LA session musician with
Tommy Tedesco, Jimmy played on dozens of TV and film scores. But his first love was
always jazz, and by the time he was in his mid-thirties he was ready to come out of the
background and into the spotlight.
Paying his dues by playing blistering guitar in the small clubs and venues around his
beloved Philadelphia during the 1980’s, his reputation as one of the hottest guitar players
grew. In 1992 he landed a multi-CD recording deal with legendary jazz label Concord
Records. Since then Jimmy has recorded over 13 critically acclaimed CDs, including
“Sleight of Hand,” “Like That,” and “Polarity.” His most recent CD “Maplewood
Avenue” (Affiliated Artists Records) was described as having “…a 'classic' feel to it...like a
famous album we somehow hadn't discovered yet.” Jimmy performs constantly as leader
of the Jimmy Bruno Trio in jazz venues and jazz festivals around the world, including the
Iridium in New York and Blues Alley in Washington DC. He is often described as one of
the greatest jazz guitarists of all time.
Jimmy recently entered a third phase of his career when, in May of 2007, he opened the
Jimmy Bruno Guitar Institute (JBGI). With his unique insight into jazz and jazz guitar, Jimmy
is constantly in demand to teach master classes. Now, employing the latest Internet and
video technology, Jimmy’s method and “no nonsense” approach to jazz improvisation is
available to guitar students around the world. With virtually no advertising, there are
already hundreds of students representing over 32 countries studying at the online JBGI.
In response to this innovation and his long-time reputation as a jazz educator, Jimmy has
been invited to address the Jazz Improv Education Conference at their October gathering.
Teaching hundreds of guitarists around the world, and maintaining a busy performance
and recording schedule, Bruno is one of the hardest-working guitarists in the business.
He shows no signs of slowing down.
1993 Sleight of Hand - Concord Records
1994 Burnin' - Concord Records
1995 Concord Jazz Guitar Collective - Concord Records
1996 Like That - Concord Records
1997 Full Circle- Concord Records
1997 Live at Birdland 1 - Concord Records
1997 Live at Birdland 2 - Concord Records
2000 Polarity (with Joe Beck)- Concord Records
2000 Two for the Road (with Jenifer Leitham)- Azica Records
2001 Midnight Blue – Concord Records
2004 Solo – Mel Bay Records
2006 MB3 (with Corey Christensen and Vic Juris) - Mel Bay Records
2007 Maplewood Avenue – Affiliated Artists Records
When not on the road, Jimmy lives in Philadelphia with his wife Peg and daughter Susanna.
Jimmy’s son is working on his PhD in linguistics at Rutgers University.
Jimmy endorses Sadowsky guitars.