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The John Abercrombie Jazz Scholarship Fund Welcomes You

The legendary jazz musician John Abercrombie was a gifted guitarist and composer, and he also was an inspiring teacher and mentor. The fund was founded to pay tribute to John's legacy by providing tuition assistance to students based on need and merit. John was a relentless innovator on his instrument, and he was also devoted to encouraging a new generation of exceptional musicians throughout the world. He  made our lives a musical feast of unforgettable live performances, compositions, recordings and conversations about music.

Now it’s time to honor his memory by donating to the charitable fund in his name.

Will you join us? 

Contributions to the John Abercrombie Jazz Scholarship endowment provide essential tuition support. To contribute click here.

The John Abercrombie Jazz Scholarship Fund is a 501(c) (3) organization. 

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Meet our 2023 JAJSF Grant Recipients

Steven Amoikon and Maurice Mosely

Two young guitar explorers on a journey to expand the boundaries of their instrument.

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Berklee College of Music 2023 Recipient Steve Amoikon is from West Africa.

May 15, 2023

Steven's goal is to bring an African point of view to modern music. He has "traveled around a good number of villages and cities throughout Africa (Senegal, Guinée, Cote d’ivoire) and has learned or come across a lot of untapped or untouched material that could potentially bring a fresh element to general culture, helping in healing and adding new style to some types of music."

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S.U.N.Y.@Purchase Conservatory of Music 2023 recipient Maurice Mosely is a New Yorker.

May 15, 2023

According to his private instructor @ SUNY Purchase,  guitarist Pasquale Grasso, "like John Abercrombie, Maurice has a lyrical approach to his phrasing, and is a great listener that reacts with sincerity. Maurice isn’t afraid of taking risks in his playing, and demonstrates a strong sense of self expression. He consistently aims to further develop his understanding of the music, through study of the tradition, and by pushing the boundaries of his own creativity."

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Wolf Marshall's Column in Vintage Guitar Magazine: An important retrospective and portrait of the Jazz Guitar Innovator

"Compared with players like Benson, Martino or McLaughlin, <Beirach maintained that> Abercrombie was a real improviser, melodically less-predictable, theme-driven rather than riff-based."

January 2023

This article originally appeared in VG’s May 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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New Scholarship Program at Berklee College of Music to honor John's lifetime of contributions to the art of jazz guitar

Aimed at guitar principals majoring in performance or jazz composition

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Meet JAJSF 2022 Grant Recipient Chris Potter

The Rochester-born jazz guitarist has found his calling

We are pleased to announce that Rochester-born jazz guitarist Christopher Potter has been named as the fourth John Abercrombie Jazz Scholarship Fund grant recipient.  Chris has completed two semesters at the graduate level at SUNY Purchase and his private instructor there is the guitarist and Sony Masterworks  Artist Pasquale Grasso.
Chris earned his undergraduate degree at SUNY Geneseo, but did not pursue a music degree while there. He continued to study, play and teach after college, all the while honing his craft while holding down his day gig. He made the decision to return to full-time jazz studies at the graduate level to formalize some of the knowledge he gained during this period. The maturity and focus that he now brings to the instrument appears to be paying off, according to Pasquale Grasso. “Chris isn’t afraid of taking risks in his playing and he demonstrates a strong sense of self-expression“, said Pasquale.” He is very curious about understanding the instrument and finding new ways to be musical and develop himself.”
Chris says that his deepest connection to the playing and writing of John Abercrombie was his lyrical melodicism. “ I’m drawn to the honesty of his improvisations, “says Chris.“ John had a cohesive flow of ideas that always seemed natural, and I strive for that in my playing and writing. His strong sense of self, and courage to try new things, whether it be guitar synthesizers, or a different compositional approach, has been a source of encouragement that I lean on when attempting something for the first time. “
All submissions were reviewed by a five-judge panel that included Pianist Marc Copland, Guitarists' Bob DeVos and Rale Micic, Gary Lefkowitz and Lisa Abercrombie.   Special thanks to the judges panel, for each of the submissions that we received this year, and to the incredible group of musicians, supporters and contributors to the John Abercrombie Jazz Scholarship Fund.


Photo (c) Amanda Kinton.

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The John Abercrombie Tribute-Featuring Ed Verhoeff, Hein Van De Geyn and Adam Nussbaum

The John Abercrombie Tribute is a project presented in collaboration with ProJazz. The group will be touring Europe March 23rd- April 3rd.  Each of these musicians have a special relationship with our John.

As one of John’s favorite drummers, Adam Nussbaum has been a member of various bands and recording sessions for years. Among others the Nuttree Project (John Abercrombie, Adam Nussbaum, Jerry Bergonzie & Gary Versace) and the John Abercrombie, Adam Nussbaum & Dan Wall group. Hein van de Geyn was part of the John Abercrombie trio during his stay in the USA. Conversely, John was part of van de Geyn’s own trio ‘Baseline’ which recorded three albums together

For Ed Verhoeff, John was an important inspiration and ‘direction indicator’ during his studies. It was in the same period that Ed was asked by Hein to be part of the ‘European’ Baseline. This was a shadow band from his American counterpart. This led to an intensive collaboration with Hein. This period lasted from 1990 to 2010 An absolute highlight in this collaboration is a series of concerts and the CD recording of ‘The Guitar Album’, of which both Ed and John were a part of.

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Special Livestream Set
December 16th @9PM  ET!

Celebrating the late, great guitarist on the anniversary of his 77th birthday. Live guitar trio show from the Flat Iron in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The Rale Micic guitar trio featuring Rale Micic on Guitars, Steve Haines on Bass and Geoff Clapp on drums will perform an 'all-Abercrombie' set of John's original compositions and favorite tunes.

Join us for this special live presentation streamed from the Rale Micic page on Facebook, or share some of John's music on this special day.

Photo (c) Diego Torrado

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Meet Nate Knipscher- 2021 JAJSF Grant Recipient

NY-based Guitarist Studies at S.U.N.Y Purchase

Guitarist Nate Knipscher has been named as our third John Abercrombie Jazz Scholarship recipient. Nate will begin his junior year this Fall at S.U.N.Y Purchase Conservatory of Music, studying with guitarist Pasquale Grasso. As our third grant recipient, he will help promote the foundation and its goals. Nate began playing rock guitar when he was 9 years old. When he was 12, he was smitten by a recording he heard of ‘Round Midnight by Wes Montgomery while on a bus ride. “Before that point, I had never heard a guitar sound like THAT”, he said. After that, he was completely hooked and decided to dedicate his entire existence to jazz guitar. Nate found Kenny Burrell, Tal Farlow, more Wes and along that path shifted toward the restrained, creative playing that Jim Hall and John Abercrombie offered. “John’s playing in particular, has shown me that in order to push the boundaries of the music I play, I have to defy expectations and avoid falling into the trap of normalcy”, he said. “When I listen to John Abercrombie, I can hear someone pushing hard against that, and playing familiar tunes in new and inventive ways. Hopefully I can follow in his footsteps, and share innovative jazz guitar performances with the world, as I’ve always dreamed of doing.”
All submissions were reviewed by a five-judge panel that included Pianist Marc Copland, Guitarists' Bob DeVos and Rale Micic, Gary Lefkowitz and Lisa Abercrombie.   Special thanks to the judges panel, for each of the submissions that we received this year, and to the incredible group of musicians, supporters and contributors to the John Abercrombie Jazz Scholarship Fund.

May 14, 2021

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Three of John's Musical Gems Easily Overlooked

Jazz Guitar Today contributor Joe Barth writes about his favorite Abercrombie recordings in the publication's March 17 edition.

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Remembering John Abercrombie
on 12.16. 20

A very special live guitar duo set  celebrating John and his music. Featuring guitarists Rale Micic and Steve Cardenas along with legendary special guest tributes! Also: read noted author Steve Silberman's heartfelt tribute.

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 Marc Copland's long association with Abercrombie began with their appearance together in 1971 as members of Chico Hamilton's quartet, and continued through their last tour, in December 2016. They gigged and recorded over the years as members of each other's bands, and also as a duo. John's last quartet, with Copland, Drew Gress and Joey Baron, spent several years touring worldwide and recorded two albums for the ECM label. That's a very long association—a lot of music was made by these two gentlemen together.

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The John Abercrombie Guitar Collection Auction Event: Completely Sold Out!

Each of the guitars were carefully restored, polished and restrung by the guitar luminary Steve Salerno. John had a very specific concept and vision for his signature sound that was always evolving. He also had very exacting requirements and specifications for the luthiers and manufactured instruments that he used both on stage and as a recording artist. These guitar makers include Rick McCurdy, Brian Moore, Patrick Cummings, Roger Sadowsky, Rob Engel,  James L. Mapson, Peter Coura, Stefan Schottmueller as well as instruments manufactured by Taylor, Gibson, Guild, Fender Epiphone, and an electric mandolin made by Kevin Schwab. Also included in the sale were some of John’s guitar synths and effects pedals. Proceeds  benefitted the John Abercrombie estate. One special instrument was auctioned to benefit the John Abercrombie Jazz Scholarship Fund Charitable Trust.

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Leonid Morozov-2020 JAJSF Grant Recipient

Jazz Guitarist from Moscow, Russia. Studies at S.U.N.Y Purchase

The JAJSF has selected its second scholarship grant recipient at the S.U.N.Y Purchase Conservatory of Music. The guitarist’s name is Leonid Morozov and he will be a senior there in the Fall.

Leonid was raised as part of a musical family in Moscow. His grandad is a fine jazz pianist and director of an International Festival there known as “Jazz Province”. He was exposed to jazz and classical music at a young age, and picked up the harmonica listening to Howlin’ Wolf, Mississippi Fred McDowell and others. When he was 15 years old, he heard the music of saxophonist Lester Young. He was enthralled, and knew that he wanted to dedicate himself to jazz music. He has played with his own trios and quartets in and around Moscow, and studies with Pasquale Grasso.

All submissions were reviewed by a five-judge panel that included Pianist Marc Copland, Guitarists' Bob DeVos and Rale Micic, Gary Lefkowitz and Lisa Abercrombie.  

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Remembering John Abercrombie: At The Birdland Theatre NYC on 1.23.20

An All-Star Salute to commemorate the anniversary of John Abercrombie's 75th birthday.

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Andreas Lasos-2019 JAJSF Grant Recipient

Jazz Guitarist from Athens, Greece - Studies at S.U.N.Y Purchase

The JAJSF has selected its first scholarship grant recipient at SUNY Purchase College.      

The guitarist’s name is Andreas Lasos and he is enrolled in the Jazz performance program there.

His musical journey initially began with the violin, a love of the blues, then he discovered the music of Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall and John Abercrombie. He is currently working on fusing greek, balkan and middle eastern music with jazz.   In 2019, he studied with Doug Munro and Vic Juris. All submissions were reviewed by a five-judge panel that included Pianist Marc Copland, Guitarists' Bob DeVos and Rale Micic, Gary Lefkowitz and Lisa Abercrombie.  

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Berklee College of Music

Timeless: John Abercrombie Tribute Concert

Berklee Performance Center

Boston, MA

October 10th, 2018

Featuring Lage Lund, Joey Baron, Joe Lovano, Ben Street and special guests. Produced by Rick Peckham and Michael Borgida.

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New Ringtone Versions of Parable and Telegram available on iTunes!

We are very pleased to announce the availability of iPhone ringtone versions of John's early recordings ‘Parable’ and ‘Telegram’,  for iPhone (only/Android versions coming soon. Early on in his career, producer Manfred Eicher shipped John recording equipment in order for him to compose and create his first and only solo guitar recording, released as “Characters”.  If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s an acoustic guitar masterwork overdubbed with other stringed instruments such as electric mandolin, each track composed and performed by the virtuoso. This recording opened many doors for John both personally and professionally and its out of print. Ringtone proceeds for Parable and Telegram (after Apple hosting and aggregator fees)  go directly to the John Abercrombie Jazz Scholarship Fund, thanks in part to generous grants by ECM as well as John’s estate.  They have also been optimized for smartphone audio by Harmonic Fox Sound Design.

Parable Ringtone for iPhone

Telegram Ringtone for iPhone

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Timeless: An All-Star Tribute Concert for the Ages

A Dream Lineup of Dear Friends and Close Collaborators

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The New Documentary Film

Open Land: 

Meeting John Abercrombie 

Filmmakers Arno Oehri and Oliver Primus have produced a fine biographical portrait of John's life and work. Their film entitled "Open Land: Meeting John Abercrombie" is currently being screened at film festivals in the U.S. and Zurich. It will be released as a DVD by ECM Records in the U.S. on August 3rd.

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"To be creative and spontaneous, you have to live with imperfection."

John Abercrombie

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NPR Interview

Remembering John Abercrombie:

"To Learn, That's Why I Play"  

As a remembrance, NPR Radio station KCBX released a gem of an interview from their archives.  In this conversation from 2009, which was not intended for air but was just an exploratory interview for pull quotes, Abercrombie talks about how he got started and offers insights into his musical mind as he comments on the tracks from the ECM release, Wait Till You See Her.

Listen here:


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"I think the musicians that made the biggest impact on me (early on) were Bill Evans, Jim Hall, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane. To me they represented, and still do, a certain quality that transcends the physical part of playing the instrument itself, and enters an area that is much more intellectually and emotionally satisfying."

John Abercrombie

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Remember Hymn

 A ballad composed as a remembrance of Collin Walcott featuring Michael Brecker

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Contact The John Abercrombie Jazz Scholarship Fund

Get in touch with The John Abercrombie Jazz Scholarship Fund to learn more about our work and how you can get involved.

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