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Dom Minasi

It’s not common to hear a guitarist mentioned in the same vein as adventurous players like Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane and Cecil Taylor, but Dom Minasi is not your common type of guitarist. Like many highly creative artists, Dom needs a variety of contexts to express the full range of his musical vision by maintaining several separate groups, Born on March 6, 1943 (sharing a birthday with legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery), Dom is a 50-year veteran of the music scene, with a history and scope of activities as varied and jam-packed as his native New York City.

Backing up top singing groups at rock 'n' roll shows, church dances and the like while still in his early teens, Dom has maintained a jazz trio with bass and drums since he was 15 years old. But education has also played a major role in his overall musical activities. "By the time I was 20, I had more than 100 students, but I cut it down to 95 so I could play six nights a week."

A lot of those nights were spent backing up, and providing musical direction for vocalists, something that Dom has continued to do since 1964 and almost exclusively until 1973, when his own trio began to really take shape, coming to the attention of George Butler who had taken the reins at Blue Note from the label's visionary founder and producer, Alfred Lion. After recording two albums for Blue Note, When Joanna Loved Me and I Have The Feeling I’ve Been Here Before, Dom felt the business of Jazz was not for him So from 1976-1993, Dom involved himself in a variety of pursuits such as freelancing, recording dates as a sideman, and occasionally performing with the late, great pianist Dennis Moorman and his organ quartet featuring Dr. Lonnie Smith. Composing the music for a variety of off-Broadway shows, authoring three books for Sunrise Artistries, two books on jazz theory and chord substitution and one on improvising. Returning to school where he studied with Academy Award-winning (The Red Violin) composer John Corigliano at Lehman College, receiving his degree in composition in 1990.

He also composed over 300 vocal and instrumental compositions during those years, as well as creating Literacy Through Songwriting Workshops for grades one through six for the New York City Board of Ed. Fellow musicians kept trying to get Dom more involved with the regular scene but he continued to resist. "I’m happy. I do my workshops with the kids. I’m doing great. Why do I need the aggravation?" was his general response. But finally in 1993 he began to take an interest again, becoming principal composer for the Manhattan Improvisational Chamber Ensemble (MICE) and began to work on various projects of his own. By1996, he was in the thick of it, but entirely on his own terms.

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"One of New York’s best kept secrets is finally “getting out”. Hooray!" Jim Hall

“I am knocked out by Dom's creative and original guitar playing".

Henry Kaiser

“A true Jazz original ” Bill Milkowski

“Minasi stuns...he coaxes dark emotive chords like a dusky snake charmer wooing a cobra from awoven basket...” Derek Taylor All Music Guide to Jazz

“In the manner of Eric Dolphy...Minasi works over the harmonic and rhythmic material of each song in an extraordinary manner, managing to go places where few lesser guitarists would venture.” Cadence Magazine

” A six string Cecil Taylor” David Adler All About Jazz New York

“Dom Minasi has expanded his horizons and forged a path that takes him just off the beaten path”. Steven Loewy All Music Guide

“The ever versatile Minasi seems possessed by spirits while feverishly plucking and strumming a cavalcade of chord progressions...” Glenn Astarita All Music Guide to Jazz

“He works his frets like a man possessed...peeling off tangled lines in steady metallic cascades... This date suggests that his place as a major player may have finally arrived.” Derek Taylor All Music Guide to Jazz

“Minasi is finally making his mark and receiving the recognition he deserves.” Jon Wagner All About Jazz New York

“A fearless innovator” ASCAP

“…grabs the listener and won’t let go” Jim Santella All About Jazz

“Dom Minasi, … provides proof that there’s more out there.” Phil Freeman Jazziz

“Midway between abstract experimentation and standards recreation, Minasi is using his plectrum like a shovel to carve out his own niche.” Ken Waxman Jazz Weekly

“As different a guitarist as you will ever hear” Laurence Donohue-Greene All About Jazz New York

“Dom Minasi is finding creative ways to play both ‘inside’ and ‘outside,’ often within the same arrangement” Marshall Bowden Jazzitude

“ Dom Minasi continues to make provocative music, more so today than yesterday.” Michael C. Bailey All About Jazz

“Minasi proves that he can create a sense of urgency while still pushing melodic concepts forward”. Jay Collins One Final Note

“You've likely never heard anyone play guitar like this…” Tucson Weekly

" To describe him (Dom Minasi) adequately, one would need a new vocabulary...(just as) he is creating a new vocabulary on the guitar". Ron Sweetman Coda Magazine

“…worthy of mention in the same breath with Jim Hall and Pat Martino” DR Audiophile.

“One of the most inventive guitarists in modern jazz.” Dick Crockett “The Voice” 88.7fm Sacramento, Ca.

(Writing about VR)” No one, however, is playing more marvelously than Minasi, whose percussive, masterly attack is both technically frightening and utterly focused on serving the music.” Paul Olsen - All About Jazz

“…as adventurous and exciting as John Coltrane” Brian Holland- Modern Guitar

“…contemporary jazz playing that demands and deserves attention”. Bruce Crowthers Jazz & Other Obsessions

“his guitar playing is “off da hook”. Lyle Robinson Jazz Guitar Life.

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Primary Instrument

Guitar

Location

New York City

Willing to teach

Advanced only

Credentials/Background

Marquis Studios and Young Audiences: Using the blues as a basis, Dom created a program using poetry put to music in blues, rock 'n roll, rap, jazz, Latin music, and well known children's books to teach literacy through songwriting."

Kingsborough Community College and Lehman College: Guitar Ensembles, The Singers Forum, Classes in Jazz Vocalization and Reading Rhythms

American Institute of Guitar, The Guitar Workshop: Classes in harmony, theory and improvisation

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John Coltrane
saxophone
Miles Davis
trumpet
Eric Dolphy
woodwinds
Tal Farlow
guitar
Jim Hall
guitar
Jimmy Raney
guitar, electric

Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Soldano Dieci Anni

Unseen Rain Records
2022

buy

Eight Hands One Mind

Unseen Rain Records
2021

buy

Me Myself and I

Unseen Rain Records
2021

buy

Freeland

Cirko Records
2019

buy

Remembering Cecil

Unseen Rain Records
2019

buy

Manna for Thought

Self Produced
2018

buy

Gentle

From: Me Myself and I
By Dom Minasi

Samba De Domingo

From: Me Myself and I
By Dom Minasi

Improv #3

From: Remembering Cecil
By Dom Minasi

Brown Eyes

From: Freeland
By Dom Minasi

Chasing Bulls

From: Allivium
By Dom Minasi

Angel's Dance

From: Angel's Dance
By Dom Minasi

Inside Out

From: The Jon Hemmersam*Dom Minasi...
By Dom Minasi

The Day After Next

From: Goin' Out Again
By Dom Minasi

Strange

From: Blaise Siwula Dom Minasi Live...
By Dom Minasi

Stop Ringing Those Dam Bells

From: The Bird The Girl and The Donkey
By Dom Minasi

Looking Out Looking Out

From: Looking Out Looking In
By Dom Minasi

The Vampire's Revenge

From: The Vampire's Revenge
By Dom Minasi

Tumorology

From: Dissonance Makes The Heart Grow...
By Dom Minasi

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