John Scofield Biography

Popular American Jazz-rock Guitarist

John Scofield is an American jazz guitarist among the best in the music industry. He is a well-known United States musician specializing in jazz and classical guitar. Further, John has played professionally since childhood and for various jazz legends, such as Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and more.

Moreover, he has been awarded Grammy Award, five Grammy nominations, and seven gold and platinum album awards. His first album, titled, My Way, was released in 1963, and he's also known for releasing an album titled Guitar.

Additionally, he's sold over 10 million albums and performed in front of more than 50 million people worldwide. His signature style has made him one of the best-selling guitarists.

Further, he is also known for his collaborations with musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Bob James, Tony Williams, Thelonious Monk, and many more.

Early Life And Career

John Scofield was born on December 26, 1951, in the United States. His father was a classical musician, and his mother was an art teacher. He was raised in an environment where music was the center of his life. He started playing guitar when he was 12 years old.

He has a brother named Gary and a sister named Carol. He was introduced to music by his parents. They always listened to jazz music while John was growing up. His first exposure to the jazz world was through Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Bill Evans.

At 15, he studied classical guitar at the Manhattan School of Music. At the same time, he started playing jazz guitar. Further, at 19, Scofield released his first album, My Way. Later on, he worked with several musicians such as Bill Evans, Dave Liebman, and George Russell.

Scofield attended Berklee College of Music for two years. After that, he moved to Los Angeles to work as a session guitarist. During his years at Berklee, John started playing electric guitar instead of acoustic. He was one of the founding members of the L.A. Jazz Conservatory and joined the group as a guitarist.

Scofield has also played for several artists like the Rolling Stones, Roberta Flack, Joe Cocker, the Neville Brothers, Eric Clapton, and many more.

The most influential musician that has inspired him is John Coltrane. John Scofield has also said that he was inspired by great guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Wes Montgomery, B.B. King, Django Reinhardt, and Django's brother, J.P. All of them have helped him shape his style of playing.

In 1985 he formed the band 'Sco' with his cousin, guitarist Johnny Goudie, who was also a member of The Black Crowes. The band was signed to Atlantic Records and released its self-titled debut album in 1987. The album was nominated for three Grammys in 1988.

In 1979 the John Scofield released an album I Can See Your House From Here with the Pat Methney. I Can See Your House from Here is the seventh studio album by English progressive rock band Camel.

Grammy Awards

  • In 1993, he won the Grammy award for Best Instrumental Arrangement for the song' Mood Indigo'. In 1995, he won the Grammy for the album 'Journey'. He also received the Grammy award for the song 'Sophisticated Lady' in 1996.
  • In 1999, he received a Grammy for the album 'Guitar Odyssey'. In 2000, he won the Grammy for the album 'In a Silent Way. In 2001, he won the Grammy for the album 'The Inner Truth.'
  • In 2004, he won the Grammy for Music for the Soul album. In 2006, he won the Grammy for the album Live at the Village Vanguard.'
  • In 2007, he won the Grammy for the album 'A Night in Vienna.' In 2008, he won the Grammy for the album 'New Horizons'. In 2009, he won the Grammy for the "Inner Smile" album. In 2010, he won the Grammy for the album 'Into The Silence.


In the final thoughts, John Scofield was born on December 26, 1951, in Los Angeles, California. He is an American singer and songwriter. His career began at twelve when he won the National Championship for the American Folk Art Song Contest in 1962.

During the 1960s, he released several Folkways Records and Columbia Records albums. His first solo album, "Songs of the Civil War," was released in 1967. Scofield later became part of the folk-rock band Delaney & Bonnie, along with Denny Doherty and Steve Holley. After their breakup, Scofield moved to England and recorded several albums with EMI. He returned to the United States and founded his record label, Flying Fish Records, which he continues to run today.