Professor Scott Whitfield (trombonist, composer, arranger, and vocalist) is internationally recognized for his work with many contemporary big bands, including the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra and the new edition of Johnny Griffin’s Big Soul Band, as well as his own Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestras (East and West). Professor Whitfield’s discography includes seven recordings as leader and more than 50 recordings with other artists. In addition to his own recordings, his compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by such artists as Diva, Maurice Hines, The Pied Pipers, Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band, and Pete Petersen’s 23-strong Collection Jazz Orchestra.
A clinician and guest artist for Getzen trombones, Professor Whitfield has appeared throughout the world, from Australia to Zurich, sharing his expertise on trombone technique, improvisation, composition, arranging, and jazz history. He was featured as guest soloist with the United States Army Blues Jazz Ensemble at the 2007 Eastern Trombone Workshop. His transcription book, The J.J. Johnson Collection (published by Hal Leonard), has inspired not only trombonists, but also jazz improvisers, young and old, on many instruments.
Professor Whitfield has performed in many Broadway show orchestras and backed the likes of Robert Goulet, Rita Moreno, Marilyn McCoo, Vic Damone, Jack Jones, and Frank Sinatra, Jr. Most recently, he was part of the orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl for a special seventieth birthday tribute to Nancy Wilson, which also featured Nnenna Freelon, Patti Austin, James Ingram, Tom Scott, Terence Blanchard, Natalie Cole, and a host of others.
Professor Whitfield served on the jazz faculty at Rutgers University from 1998 to 2002, teaching trombone, composition and arranging, and improvisation while also coordinating the school’s combo program. The Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra now has two incarnations: the SWJO East, based in New York; and the SWJO West, based in Los Angeles. Both of these aggregations feature the top players in the business.
Although Professor Whitfield makes his home in Los Angeles, he continues to commute to New York for appearances. His playing, writing, and singing have been compared to those of some of his biggest influences, including Carl Fontana, Frank Rosolino, Thad Jones, Sammy Nestico, Mel Torme, and Jack Jones.