"Bruce Forman is one of the great lights of our age.”
- Barney Kessel, Jazz Times
A hectic touring schedule; twenty-one recordings as a leader, countless sideman recordings including Ray Brown, Bobby Hutcherson, Roger Kellaway; soundtrack performances on three of Clint Eastwood’s distinguished films—most notably Academy Award-winning Million Dollar Baby; raconteur, arranger, acclaimed educator, in residence at USC’s Studio/Jazz Guitar Dept., when does Bruce Forman rest?
Deep immersion in American culture inspires Forman to contribute to the traditions that he draws from. Reunion! (the newest project) revisits the famed Poll Winners sessions with cohorts John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton, playing instruments owned by Barney Kessel, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne; Formanism (his trio project); original works like The Red Guitar; his high-rated podcast, GuitarWank; Cow Bop and the “road challenges” down historic byways like Route 66; JazzMasters Workshop; Junkyard Duo; GrumpsTV (a fifty episode YouTube variety show during the lockdown), the popular ‘first chorus of the day’ series on Instagram…these are only the latest answers to the endless question that underlies Bruce Forman’s creativity. His music and life reflect every step of his journey, and demonstrate the awareness of an artist who’s very much at home in the world, and at the top of his form.
The Red Guitar is serious one-man theater, incorporating great musical virtuosity and storytelling skills to explore the obsessive demands that music places on its truest followers. Junkyard Duo, scavenging music from the edge of sound, uses an unusual sonic landscape to create a rich and exciting musical palette…hobo chic at it’s most utmost. And though he can shred bebop at blistering tempos with the best of ‘em, he is no urban snob. Cow Bop, Forman’s unique “western bebop” band, hit four separate charts with its CDs, Swingin’ Out West, Route 66, Too Hick for the Room and Cowlifornia Swing. Having won the Route 66 Challenge three times with Cow Bop, he created a linear music festival in 2013, establishing a new paradigm for touring and the use of social media, which included a collaborative mentoring model for young musicians.
Bruce Forman’s life and musical journey provide an American saga that is still in full swing. His Texas origins, his early career in San Francisco and New York, and his years on the road, all contribute to the unique and highly personal vision that he demonstrates today.