Grammy-nominated guitarist/composer Amanda Monaco has performed at venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, Jazz Standard and Flushing Town Hall, and with artists such as Milt Hinton, Steve Wilson, Rufus Reid, and the Mingus Orchestra. She has released five albums to date and her current jazz projects include her eclectic quartet Deathblow, rambunctious organ quartet Girly Day and chamber jazz trio Mo-Fi-Co. Her New Music ensemble The Pirkei Avot Project performs her original music with lyrics from selected verses (from a collection of rabbinical teachings with the same name) compiled in the third century C.E.
Amanda’s guitar playing is “well within the modernist canon, but quite distinctive: her phrasing is often made up of tartly dissonant chords and insistent yet off-kilter repetitions that remind one of Grant Green by way of Andrew Hill… her playing is utterly unique, a breath of fresh air in the cookie-cutter climes of both mainstream and free jazz.” (Clifford Allen, The New York City Jazz Record)
An educator since 1990, Amanda is an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music where she teaches private instruction, labs and guitar ensembles. Amanda’s book, Jazz Guitar for the Absolute Beginner (Alfred Publishing), is available worldwide.
Amanda is the Artistic Director of Convergence Arts, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to share the art and fun of improvisation with people of all ages and includes projects such as Kirpal Gordon’s Speak-Spake-Spoke, a spoken word/jazz ensemble. Convergence is also a member of the UNITY Arts Alliance, a collective of artist-led non-profit organizations committed to using art and music as vehicles for social justice, education, and the betterment of the soul. UNITY was created to unveil a visionary model for supporting artists and engaging communities in the 21st century.
Amanda received her M.A.from The City College of New York in 2008. In her undergraduate years, Amanda studied with Ted Dunbar, Kenny Barron, Rufus Reid and Harold Mabern. She received her B.Mus from William Paterson University.