Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Fox, Mimi, guitarist; b. Queens, NY, 24 August 1956. She grew up at various locations on the east coast. Her father, Elias Fox, was born in the Bronx, NY in 1920 and died in 1995. His mother, Anne Fox (b. Newark, NJ, 1922) was a singer and songwriter. She has two siblings, Bonnie Fox (b. 1948) and David Fox (b. 1952). Her teachers include Joyce Boguski (1970-71), Joe Pass (1989-91), Bruce Forman (1979-1985).
She has performed with fellow guitarists Charlie Byrd, and Charlie Hunter, as well as with the Turtle Island String Quartet, Grammy nominated David Sanchez, saxophonist Don Lanphere, and Manhattan Transfer's Janis Siegel, among others. Mimi has shared the bill with a wide array of artists including Diana Krall, Stevie Wonder and John Sebastian. She has been featured on a number of television shows including BET on Jazz.
Mimi maintains a whirlwind touring schedule, performing in major jazz clubs and festivals from New York to Tokyo. She has performed at The Village Gate in New York City; Blues Alley in Washington, D.C.; Jazz Alley in Seattle; and Yoshi's, the Great American Music Hall, and Kimball's East in the San Francisco area, among many others. She is a favorite at jazz and music festivals such as Jazz on the Water, the Britt Festival, the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival, the San Francisco, San Jose, Port Townsend and Monterey Jazz Festivals. Phil Elwood, dean of the San Francisco music critics, singled her out: "Outstanding performer! From the galaxy of stars at the JazzFest, guitarist Mimi Fox came across as the brightest." Mimi recently completed a very successful tour, spanning three continents, performing in Japan, Thailand and Australia.
Kicks, her second CD, rose to fifth place on Gavin jazz radio charts and number 20 on Billboard jazz charts. allaboutjazz.com awarded Kicks four stars out of four and raved, "This is a strongly melodic collection, and one that swings out stylishly...Mimi Fox is a major talent...This one's strongly recommended."
Born in New York City, she started playing drums at nine, and then guitar when she was ten. She was inspired by the wide variety of music enjoyed by her family - show tunes, classical, Dixieland, Motown - and her own youthful inclination toward pop, folk, and R&B. When she was fourteen, she bought her first jazz album "because it was on sale." She had no jazz recordings and the one she chose had no guitarist, but she was "blown away" by it. That album, John Coltrane's classic Giant Steps, changed the course of her musical life. Fox began touring right out of high school. She moved to San Francisco in 1979, where she became a sought-after musician. She is on the faculty of the innovative Jazzschool in Berkeley, California, and has appeared as guest clinician at the University of Connecticut, University of Oregon, the Britt Music Festival, and others. She has received numerous awards for her original scores for dance, theater and film.
Against The Grain (1987); Turtle Logic (1995); Kicks (1999); Standards (2001)
As sideperson:Robin Flower: Green Sneakers (1982); Silvia Kohan: Finally Real (1984); Maye Cavallaro: Never Let Me Go (1998); Don Lanphere: Like A Bird (2000); Maye Cavallaro: Duets (2002)
Radio and television appearances:
Many public radio appearances, Cable television appearance on BET On Jazz 1999,
From 1979-2002, hundreds of hours of private tapes from concerts/festivals around the world.
Magazine and newspaper articles:
Book interview from Madame Jazz Oxford University Press 1995,
Guitar Player Magazine, Nov. 91 & Feb. 1996,
Down Beat Magazine, Jan. 2000,
Jazz Times Magazine, July/August 1999,
20th Century Guitar Magazine, April, 2001,
San Francisco Examiner, 5/12/2000,
Bangkok Time Out, July 2001,
Idaho Statesman, April 5, 2001,
San Diego Union Tribune, 11/4/99,
Monterey County Herald, 6/3/99,
The Press Democrat, 12/8/96,
San Jose Metro, 8/10/2000,
1999 Gavin Magazine Profile, Contra Costa Times, 4/30/99.
2002, The Fund For U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions,
2001 William James Association/California Arts Council,
1997 William James Association/California Arts Council,
1995 Artist In Residence, Jazz/Rock Schule in Frieburg, Germany,
1994 William James Association/California Arts Council,
1991 William James Association/California Arts Council,
1989 Nominee Bay Area Music Awards , Outstanding Jazz Album, Against The Grain, 1987, Outstanding Jewish Jazz Musician, Jewish Museum of San Francisco,
1978 Ceta Grant, Connecticut Arts Council.