Home » Jazz Musicians » Scott Whitfield

Scott Whitfield

Scott Whitfield (trombonist, composer, arranger, and vocalist) is internationally recognized for his work with many contemporary big bands, including the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra and the new edition of Johnny Griffin’s Big Soul Band, as well as his own Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestras (East and West). Whitfield’s discography includes 7 recordings as leader and more than 50 recordings with other artists. In addition to his own recordings, his compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by such artists as Diva, Maurice Hines, The Pied Pipers, Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band, and Pete Petersen’s 23-strong Collection Jazz Orchestra.

A clinician and guest artist for Bach Stradivarius trombones, Whitfield has appeared throughout the world, from Australia to Zurich, sharing his expertise on trombone technique, improvisation, composition, arranging, and jazz history. He was featured as guest soloist with the United States Army Blues Jazz Ensemble at the 2007 Eastern Trombone Workshop. His transcription book “The J.J. Johnson Collection” (published by Hal Leonard) has inspired not only trombonists, but also jazz improvisers on many instruments, young and old.

Upon settling in New York in 1993, Whitfield became a member of the Nat Adderley Sextet, which also included Jimmy Cobb, Walter Booker, Vincent Herring and Rob Bargad. The group’s engagements at Sweet Basil led to fruitful associations with Nnenna Freelon, Frank Wess, Lionel Hampton, Wayne Andre, and many others. Whitfield has also performed in many Broadway show orchestras, and backed the likes of Robert Goulet, Rita Moreno, Marilyn McCoo, Vic Damone, Jack Jones, and Frank Sinatra, Jr. Most recently, he was part of the orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl for a special seventieth birthday tribute to Nancy Wilson, which also featured Nnenna Freelon, Patti Austin, James Ingram, Tom Scott, Terence Blanchard, Natalie Cole, and a host of others.

Whitfield served on the jazz faculty at Rutgers University from 1998 to 2002, teaching trombone, composition and arranging, and improvisation, while also coordinating the school’s combo program. During this period, one of his composition students placed third in a worldwide field of contestants in the Thad Jones International Jazz Composition Competition.

The Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra (first founded in 1986, while Whitfield was pursuing his Master’s degree at North Texas State University) now has two incarnations: the SWJO East, based in New York; and the SWJO West, based in Los Angeles. Both of these aggregations feature the top players in the business.

For more than a year, the Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra East was in residence at New York’s Birdland, the Jazz Corner of the World, culminating in the exciting “Live at Birdland” CD, released in April 2004 on Summit Records. “The Minute Game,” featuring the SWJO West, was released in February 2005, and features Whitfield’s groundbreaking composition “Hiccups.” Most recently, “Diamonds For Nat,” released in February 2006, is a special 75th Birthday tribute to Whitfield’s mentor, the late Nat Adderley, featuring the SWJO East once again. The CD skyrocketed to number five in jazz radio airplay in its third week!

Read more

Tags

5
Album Review

Jack Jones Featuring Joey DeFrancesco: ArtWork

Read "ArtWork" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


"Those who know, know" happens to be a soon-to-be-overused phrase to describe the hip, the “In," and “the very elite of aware." Now in his Mid-80s, Jack Jones has maintained a stellar, cross-media career, all on a foundation of a once-in-a-lifetime voice. Mel Torme, one not easily prone to hyperbole, called Jones, “the best pure singer in the business." Torme and others in the Vocal Pantheon knew. With ArtWork, Jones joins forces with the late multi-instrumentalist and ...

31
Album Review

Jack Jones Featuring Joey DeFrancesco: ArtWork

Read "ArtWork" reviewed by Jack Bowers


If a singer's reputation is so impressive that he or she is able to enlist a full orchestra (with bassist John Clayton conducting) and the late organ maestro Joey DeFrancesco as featured soloist, that is certainly enough to warrant attention. The singer in this instance is two-time Grammy winner Jack Jones, the orchestra an assemblage of some of the Los Angeles area's finest musicians, enlarged by a thirty-member string section. On one hand, Jones remains a smooth ...

33
Album Review

The Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra West: Postcards from Hollywood

Read "Postcards from Hollywood" reviewed by Jack Bowers


While many people have been excited or enraptured by the music scores accompanying Hollywood's most beloved films, few know (or perhaps even care) who wrote them. That's a shame, as these composers (and their contemporaries) were musical trailblazers whose names should be enshrined forever in the annals of artistic brilliance. One who does care is composer/arranger Scott Whitfield who has dedicated the latest album by his Jazz Orchestra West, Postcards from Hollywood, to their remarkable (and too-often overlooked) legacy.

43
Album Review

Jim Self: My America 2: Destinations

Read "My America 2: Destinations" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Tuba maestro Jim Self's My America 2: Destinations is a successor of sorts to the album My America, recorded and released some twenty years before, also on Self's Basset Hound label. While personnel has inevitably changed (only trombonist Bill Booth returns from that earlier album), Self has employed the services of the same arranger, Kim Scharnberg—and thank goodness for that! Although Self and his eleven-member supporting cast acquit themselves well, it is Scharnberg's ingenious charts that make this engine run. ...

2
Album Review

Jim Self: Hangin' Out

Read "Hangin' Out" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


One can be forgiven for not knowing a saxhorn from a saxophone, or, for that matter, whether a particular horn is a member of a certain family. Yes, there are aficionados (not to mention serious players) who can quite accurately describe the histories of the instruments, their lineages, and their peculiarities or idiosyncracies. Yet for many, it is difficult to distinguish a cornet from a trumpet. With a clever choice of mouthpiece, an adept instrumentalist can render them basically indistinguishable ...

3
Album Review

Gary Brumburgh: Full Circle

Read "Full Circle" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


A recording dedicated to New York theater and a high school music teacher. Ho, boy, one thinks. “What could go wrong?" Actually, not much. Vocalist Gary Brumburgh is, all snobbery aside, a very pleasant surprise. He swings. He is plenty hip. He has an attractive style and a pleasant, companionable voice. So, what good can come of Nazareth (or anywhere else, for that matter), On Circle, plenty. This is a Friday- afternoon kind of recording, good for unwinding and the ...

27
Album Review

The Jim Self / John Chiodini Duo: Hangin' Out

Read "Hangin' Out" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Hangin' Out is the third album by the unlikely duo of Jim Self on tuba and John Chiodini on guitar. This time around, they hang out on five of the thirteen numbers with special guests--trombonist Scott Whitfield, tenor saxophonist Tom Peterson, baritone saxophonist David Angel and flugelhorn player Ron Stout, each of whom has a feature number before joining the leaders for a full-fledged jam on the lyrical finale, Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen's enduring standard, “It Could Happen to You," ...

Read more articles
Primary Instrument

Trombone

Location

Los Angeles

Credentials/Background

Accepting all levels. Contact to inquire.

Clinic/Workshop Information

Financial assistance available from Conn-Selmer, Inc., at www.conn-selmer.com/clinic/

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

My America 2:...

Bassett Hound Records
2023

buy

Postcards from...

Summit Records
2023

buy

ArtWork

Cavalry Productions
2023

buy

Full Circle

Cafe Pacific Records
2022

buy

Hangin' Out

Bassett Hound Records
2022

buy

Out on the Coast

Basset Hound Music
2021

buy

Similar

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.