Geoff Brown is an eclectic musician, multi-instrumentalist, teacher, author, and composer from Boston, MA. Gaining most of his training on guitar and mandolin, he has played in many groups ranging from classical and jazz to funk, rock, bluegrass, American folk, and many “world” music traditions including Klezmer, Bulgarian, and Celtic. His broad and varied musical background has helped him carve a unique niche as an independent artist. He has released nine recordings and has performed extensively throughout New England. He holds a Performance Certificate from the Guitar Institute of Technology (Hollywood, CA), a B.A. in Music from Tufts University (Medford, MA), where he graduated summa cum laude, and a M.M. from Longy School of Music (Cambridge, MA), where he graduated with distinction. Geoff has also authored and published instructional books for both mandolin and guitar. As a teacher, he served on the guitar faculty at Powers Music School, the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, taught for National Guitar Workshop summer camps, and is the mandolin instructor at Tufts University. He currently resides in the Boston area where he teaches, composes, performs, and records with his group Hickory Strings.
Geoff studied privately, taught, performed, and recorded during high school. After absorbing as much as he could on his own, he moved to Hollywood, CA and attended The Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT) where he received a rigorous training on the instrument. He studied electric guitar with Scott Henderson (Tribal Tech, Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul) and in either master classes, group lessons, or private lessons, studied with Wayne Krantz, Joe Diorio, Mike Stern, Pat Martino, Victor Wooten, Larry Carlton, and Robben Ford. While in Hollywood, he also performed in a number of bands, including a guitar showcase at the Knitting Factory. At GIT, he became a fluent improviser in several contemporary styles including jazz, funk, and rock-fusion music.
After GIT, Geoff attended Tufts University in Medford, MA where he received a broad education covering music history, ethnomusicology, music theory, composition, orchestration, and conducting while continually improving his practical skills on his instruments through private instruction and a number of ensembles. Throughout his eclectic career at Tufts, Geoff composed a large number of classical works for chamber groups and solo piano. He was elected to the highly selective Phi Beta Kappa honors society, graduated Summa Cum Laude, and received perfect marks on His Honors Thesis.
Throughout his undergraduate studies, Geoff studied privately with guitarist Tim Miller at Berklee College of Music. He was the bandleader of a funk/jazz ensemble that performed extensively throughout New England. He recorded actively with various bands and solo artists and released several independent records of original compositions which he regularly performed throughout New England.
At Tufts, he participated in ensembles in jazz, Javanese gamelan, Klezmer, and African music and had intensive studies on traditional “roots” music, both Celtic and bluegrass with John McGann (National Mandolin Champion, Berklee Professor, Touring and Recording Artist) on mandolin.
While residing in Cambridge, MA, Geoff studied at Longy School of Music where he earned his Master of Music degree in Guitar Performance. Under the tutelage of renowned classical guitarist David Patterson, Geoff graduated with distinction. During his 2 years at Longy, Geoff earned a 3.95 GPA, published 2 instructional books, and created educational outreach programs which he performed in venues such as Boston’s Symphony Hall and The Boston Children Museum. In addition to his classical studies, he studied improvisation with jazz guru Charlie Banacos, guitarist Joe Morris, and played in George Garzone’s jazz ensemble. Geoff also performed in master classes for some extraordinary musicians including Emanuele Segre, the Pacifica Quartet, Aldo Minella, and Gyan Riley.
Education outreach has been an important part of Geoff’s teaching career. With Hickory Strings, he received many grants to bring music into schools and communities across the state of Massachusetts. Among the grants were several from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for an interactive musical fairytale of his creation, Patches the Elf, and for his Artist Development workshops. He was also a resident artist at Star Island’s Conference on the Arts, where he lead workshops in music composition with his group Hickory Strings.