Andy Fite, Jazz guitarist and singer
Born San Diego, California, February 13, 1958, raised from late 1963 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Came from a musical family, but first great inspiration came February 1964 when the Beatles hit the U.S. Began seriously playing guitar 1972, in a rock tradition; then in 1974, heard Charlie Parker, Lennie Tristano and Joe Pass all on the same day and became totally absorbed in jazz, especially Parker, Tristano, Warne Marsh, Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Lester Young and Charlie Christian. Attended University of Pittsburgh, studying guitar first with Bill Smith and then Joe Negri. Appeared in concert with Kenny Clarke 1978; played with many local bands and sat in with various visiting stars. Studied harmony with pianist Carl Arter and played in Arter's band.
First LP recording: Carl Arter: Song from Far Away, 1984, Earwig Records, Chicago.
Moved 1985 to New York, began study in improvising with pianist Connie Crothers, whose emphasis on feeling, intuition, and spontaneous expression opened the door to a deeper, more original way of playing. Met many future colleagues through Ms. Crothers, including pianist Liz Gorrill, with whom he made two duo CDs:
Phantasmagoria (1988), and Cosmic Comedy (1990), both on New Artists Records. Recorded a duo CD with bassist Red Mitchell in concert in Sweden in 1991, titled Everybody Got Happy; and in 1992, Sweet Fulfillment, with tenor saxophonist Charley Krachy and pianist Boel Dirke. Singing became a natural part of jazz expression for him during this period, and on the above records Fite, Gorrill, Mitchell and Dirke all do some singing. On there recordings include Life at the Core, with alto saxophonist Richard Tabnik's Quartet; From the Inside Out, with singer Bob Casanova; and Whirlwind, an album of solo guitar improvisations, all on New Artists. Fite is also a serious songwriter, and teaches improvising.
Married, 1991, to Boel Dirke, Fite presently lives in Stockholm, Sweden with Boel, their son Niklas, and their daughter Alice.