Amanda Monaco

Guitarist and composer Amanda Monaco has performed at venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, Jazz Standard, and the Kennedy Center, and with artists such as Milt Hinton, Steve Wilson, Rufus Reid, and the Mingus Orchestra. She has released six albums, and her current jazz projects include her eclectic quartet, Deathblow; the rambunctious organ quartet Glitter; and the all-female jazz sextet Lioness. Her new music ensemble, the Pirkei Avot Project, performs her original music with lyrics from selected verses from a collection of rabbinical teachings with the same name, compiled in the third century C.E.

According to Clifford Allen of the New York City Jazz Record, Monaco’s guitar playing is “well within the modernist canon, but quite distinctive: her phrasing is often made up of tartly dissonant chords and insistent yet off-kilter repetitions that remind one of Grant Green by way of Andrew Hill….her playing is utterly unique, a breath of fresh air in the cookie-cutter climes of both mainstream and free jazz.”

  • Career Highlights
    • Leader, Amanda Monaco Quartet/Quintet, and cofounder, Lioness Jazz Collective
    • Performances at Kennedy Center, Guggenheim Works and Process, BAM's Next Wave Festival, Jazz Standard, and South by Southwest
    • Performances with Milt Hinton, Rufus Reid, and the Mingus Orchestra
    • Recordings on Posi-Tone, Innova, Late Set, and Genevieve
    • Through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, taught a young girl whose wish was to study at Berklee
    • Artistic director of Convergence Arts, a nonprofit committed to sharing the art and fun of improvisation with the community at large
    • Featured in Downbeat, Jazz Times, the New York City Jazz Record, and the New York Times
  • Awards
    • Six-time grant recipient of the Queens Council on the Arts Access Grant and Community Arts Grant
    • Recipient of a Berklee Faculty Development Grant
    • Recipient of the Chalk Hill Artist Residency
  • Education
    • M.A., City College of New York
    • B.M., William Paterson University

In Their Own Words

"I'd like students to come away from my classes with an appreciation and an excitement about the music they're playing, along with a comprehensive knowledge of their instrument and a self-awareness of who they are as an artist. Simple and specific is the way."

"My years of playing and touring in myriad ensembles, and composing and arranging for these groups, is something I can share with students who are interested in a similar career path. My experience as a DIY musician (booking, publicity, accounting, logistics, etc.) has prepared me for teaching young musicians the ins and outs, the ups and downs of the business."

Watch