Woody Mann

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Woody Mann is an American guitarist.


Mann specializes in jazz, blues, and American roots music.

He was born in New York, and first raised in Queens and then in Long Island. He first studied acoustic guitar with ragtime and blues guitarist Reverend Gary Davis from 1968-72.[1] From 1973-78, Mann continued private lessons, focusing on improvisation with jazz pianist Lennie Tristano. Meanwhile, Mann received formal instruction at the Juilliard School’s pre-college program, then earned a Bachelor of Arts at Empire State College in 1974, and finally returned to Juilliard to pursue post-baccalaureate studies in music performance and composition from 1975-76. In these early years, Mann played with guitarists John Fahey, Bukka White, Son House, and Jo Ann Kelly.[2] He also was an avid student of tenor saxophone player, Warne Marsh in the 70s and 80s.

Mann is a performer, historian, author, film-maker, recording artist, instructor, and businessman. He has toured America, Europe, and Asia. He has performed twelve times at the Great Britain International Guitar Festival where he is the USA Ambassador to the festival; the Worlds Fair Expo in Lisbon, Portugal; the International Guitar Festival in Tbilisi, the Republic of Georgia; and tours in Japan, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Europe.[3] He hosts and co-produces “On Patriots’ Stage,” concert series, performed at the metropolitan museum as part of the “Guitar heroes" exhibition in 2011,[4] and plays clubs and festivals throughout the world. The CF Martin company has recently issued the Woody Mann signature guitar.[5]

Mann has held workshops throughout the world, founded International Guitar Seminars and Acoustic Sessions Inc., and has authored books and DVDs, including “The Blues Fakebook”, “Anthology of Blues Guitar”, “The Art of Blues guitar DVD series, and “Lisboa”, the guitar of Woody Mann.” From 1981-2000, he was a faculty member at the New School in New York, teaching jazz improvisation, music theory, and acoustic blues and ragtime guitar. Mann has also taught at guitar workshops and camps in the USA and abroad, including Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Port Townsend Blues Festival, Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch and the Universitat Hannover in Hannover, Germany.[6]

In 1999, Mann established Acoustic Sessions, Inc., a corporation that works in music production for television and film. He has worked as a consultant for Yazoo Records, RCA Records, acting as a historian and musicologist of early 20th century American music. In 2010, Mann began working as the co-producer and musical supervisor on the documentary film “Harlem Street Singer,” the story of Reverend Gary Davis.[7] He is based in New York City and continues to record and teach. Woody was also instrumental in establishing the International Guitar Seminars web site, which for many years was the source of knowledge and inspiration for World and American Roots Music. The site helped champion and foster many kinds of music generally unfamiliar to the American 'radio' audience. "If you were a Delta Blues or Bluegrass player in the 90's and early 2000's, you spent long hours on that site" said Cmdrpiffle of Santa Cruz- himself a member and friend to many of the founders. "There wasn't a lot of options out there for Delta and slide" "Woody and Bob and several others just kind of brought that together for the rest of us."


  • Stories (1997)
  • "Heading Uptown" (1998)
  • "Stairwell Serenade" (1998)
  • "When I've got the Moon" (1998) with Susanne Vogt
  • "Get Together" (1999) with Bob Brozman
  • Been Here and Gone (2003) with Son House, Mike Ferguson, and Jo Ann Kelly
  • Together in Las Vegas (2004) with Orville Johnson and John Cephas
  • "First Take" (2005)
  • "Waltz For Joy" 2005 with Susanne Vogt
  • Road Trip (2005)
  • "Donna Lombarda" (2010) with Duck Baker, Bob Brozman, Ed Gerhard, and Massimo Gatti


  1. ^ Kaukonen, Jorma. "Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch". Woody Mann: The Blues of Reverend Gary Davis. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Woody Man". Interviews: Guitar Heroes. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 
  3. ^ "On Patriots Stage: The Kaplan Series". Host: Woody Mann. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Metropolitan Museum of Art". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  5. ^ "The State Theater". The State Theater of New Jersey. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Blues in the Northwest". Gig: Woody Mann - Uk Tour. 
  7. ^ "Sheboygan Blues Society". Harlem Street Singer. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 

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