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Mimi Fox: Prodigious Chops With A Special Precision



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Jazz Guitar Today’s Bob Bakert talks to guitarist Mimi Fox about how she developed her unique style and much more. Video podcast interview.

Bob Bakert: Mimi Fox has mastered her instrument by approaching it as right as I’ve ever witnessed.     What does that mean? Well here goes. Mimi studied classical guitar which gives her prodigious chops a special precision. She was a professional drummer which is evident in her command of time and phrasing. And, she studied jazz guitar with one of the best in the world, Bruce Forman.  Add to all that, when I talked to Mimi, ‘commitment and drive’ are the two words that kept popping up on my imaginary mental screen. Mimi combines hard work, and study with elusive traits, mindsets, and habits – all of which make an artist truly great. Please enjoy our video interview with Mimi Fox!

“I’ve known Mimi for a long time, and she has always impressed me with her determination, dedication, and passion for playing jazz and guitar. I couldn’t be happier with her success, she is truly deserving!  She’s telling a story we all need to hear!”  Bruce Forman

Jazz Guitar Today had some additional questions for Mimi –

JGT: What are your top three pieces of advice for people who want to make a living as a professional guitarist or musician for that matter and why? 

Mimi: My top three pieces of advice are:

#1 – Be a good human being. This should be self-evident but I feel it’s important to remember that from both a moral perspective (it feels right/gratifying to be a good person) and a professional perspective (other players, promoters, etc. want to be around good people) this is imperative. In all fields, but especially in music, perception is everything. Nurturing personal relationships and connections can last a lifetime and pay all kinds of dividends.

#2 – Learn your craft! There are so many great musicians. It’s therefore critical that you become the best musician YOU can be. It is such a competitive field so the better you become as a player the better prepared you will be for any situation/gig.

#3 – One’s journey as an Artist is always personal but one defining trait of all great musicians is the development of a personal/unique voice. It’s important to nurture your individuality as this will set you apart from others.

JGT: How important was your early experience as a drummer to your development… do you recommend people take a few drum lessons to better develop their time and rhythmic concepts?

Mimi: ALL of my early influences were drummers…from Gene Krupa to Elvin Jones, drums are the heartbeat of jazz (all music) and I believe that playing/studying drums is the best way to strengthen your own rhythmic concepts. I believe we must all have a strong internal sense of time/grooves and sitting down at a drum kit is the best way to develop this. It also helps one feel more confident in myriad playing situations (including playing in odd meters).

JGT: If you did not play as a guitarist, is there an instrument that draws you (excluding drums)?

Mimi: Cello, tenor sax, and bassoon are three favorites of mine.

JGT: What has been your biggest thrill or given you an overwhelming sense of accomplishment as a musician? 

Mimi: Playing with the amazing musicians I have had the honor of playing with has been completely exhilarating. Also, great gigs such as the Kennedy Center, Montreal Jazz Festival, etc. with great audiences has been personally gratifying and made all of my early years playing smokey dives worth it.

“I had a fabulous time playing with my B3 Trio at the Monterey Jazz Festival on Friday (9/24/21) night! It was great to play for people and experience the energy and excitement of live performance again…especially at such a storied Festival.” Mimi Fox

Photo left to right: Monterey Jazz Festival 2021 -Mimi w/Lorca Hart and Brian Ho

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