Bruce Arnold (jazz)

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Bruce Arnold
Born (1955-07-31) July 31, 1955 (age 64)
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
GenresJazz, classical
Years active1980s–present
Associated actsSpooky Actions

Bruce Arnold (born July 31, 1955) is an American jazz guitarist, composer, educator, and author.


As a kid in South Dakota, he took accordion lessons and discovered guitar when he saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. He attended the University of South Dakota but switched to the Berklee College of Music in 1976. He took private lessons from Jerry Bergonzi and Charlie Banacos.[1]

He moved to New York City in 1988 where he became an active member of the jazz community, producing many recordings as a sideman and leader. He is one of the few electric guitarists in the world to use the computer program SuperCollider in both his compositions and improvisations. Arnold is a founding member of Spooky Actions, a jazz group which explores improvisation using classical music repertoire.

He has played with Stuart Hamm, Peter Erskine, Joe Pass, Joe Lovano, Lenny Pickett, Randy Brecker, Stanley Clarke, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Absolute Ensemble under the baton of Kristjan Järvi.

Arnold's recording credits include over twenty albums and DVDs (on Muse-eek Records, Mel Bay Recordings, Truefire and other labels), ranging from standard jazz repertoire to free improvisation to reinterpretations of classical music.

Teaching and writing[edit]

He is the director of Guitar Studies at New York University and Princeton University as well as the creator of the New York University Summer Guitar Intensive. He has taught at the New England Conservatory, Dartmouth College, Berklee,[1] New School University, and City College of New York.

Arnold's theoretical works have explored the use of pitch class set theory within an improvisational setting. He has also written more than 60 music instruction books covering guitar pedagogy, ear training, and time studies.


As leader[edit]

  • Blue Eleven (MMC, 1996)
  • A Few Dozen (2000)
  • Give 'em Some (Muse-eek, 2002)
  • Two Guys from South Dakota (2005)
  • Duets with Olivier Ker Ourio (2005)
  • Disklaimer with Tom Hamilton (Muse-eek, 2005)
  • String Theory (Muse-eek, 2005)
  • Intersections (Muse-eek, 2005)
  • Aspiration with Dusan Bogdanovic
  • Blue Lotus (Muse-eek, 2007)
  • Multiplicity (Muse-eek, 2010)
  • Dakota Gumbo
  • Sonic Infestation with John Stowell
  • Invocation with Gilbert Isbin (Muse-eek, 2010)
  • Secret Code with Jane Getter (Muse-eek, 2010)
  • Art of the Blues (Muse-eek, 2010)
  • Heavy Mental (Muse-eek, 2010)
  • Lavadura (2012)

With Spooky Actions

  • Schoenberg
  • Quartet for the End of Time with Olivier Messiaen
  • Music of Webern
  • Songs of the Nations
  • Early Music
  • Songs of the Nations Vol. 2


  1. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Bruce Arnold". AllMusic. Retrieved June 26, 2018.

External links[edit]