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    First gig, 1962 Born on August 26, 1958 in a small town in northern Israel, Mordy Ferber began his musical journey as a singer at the age of 10. He formed a trio and performed at school events and small concerts in his hometown. At the age of 12, after picking up a guitar at the home of a family friend, he decided to take some formal guitar lessons; that lasted almost a year. The only teacher available to him in the area taught classical music, not his first choice of at that time.

    First guitar"Actually, I was heavily into rock and roll and was part of a band until I was about 17. We toured the country and did cover songs by Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, the Beatles, Santana and others, before I even knew about jazz. It was a lot of fun and I think of those days often. Then I heard the great gypsy jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt, on the radio; that had a tremendous effect on me. He had great technique (using only two fingers!), humour and soul in his playing; I couldn't understand where it came from. I was determined to study him as much as I could. Being self-taught, I sat for hours every day transcribing his music and solos. Later, I did the same thing with other jazz guitar greats like Charlie Christian, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery and Jim HalI. I eventually had an opportunity to perform Django's music for two weeks in France."

    At the age of 18, Mordy joined the army, a three-year obligation of every Israeli citizen. The first two months were spent in combat training. He soon realized that if he wanted to play the guitar again, he would have to join an army band, regardless of the music, as long as it was a guitar and not a gun. For the rest of the two years and 10 months, he toured the country as part of the military's entertainment unit giving concerts to other soldiers in remote areas both inside and out of the country.


    After the army, Mordy quickly became one of Israel's top musicians, performing on numerous records for CBS (Sony) with singers like Arik Ainstain, Shlomo Artzi, Shem Tov Levi, Shlomo Gronich, Miki Gavrielov And Norit Galron. and appearing regularly on radio and television shows. "It was great training for me, getting so much experience playing in many different styles. I even had the privilege of performing with the legendary Jerry Lewis. At the same time, I continued to work on jazz and developed as an improviser by myself during this period".

  • Berklee Graduation Day, with Herbie HancockAt 23, Mordy received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston and immigrated to the United States. He graduated in 1987 with full honours and received the prestigious Jim Hall award for outstanding musicianship. "Attending Berklee gave me the chance to play with good musicians on a regular basis, for when I lived in Israel, there was nothing happening locally in jazz; that has changed in recent years. I never really decided to settle in the United States, but every time I thought of leaving, I decided that there was more for me to learn. The best jazz musicians in the world live here and I wanted to be near them."


    "Being in Boston was the most fruitful time for me, growing as a musician. I practiced eight hours a day, doing the same work as I did in Israel, transcribing all the great musicians. Now my attention was drawn to piano players like Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, and McCoy Tyner; those guys, in my opinion, are the last word in improvisation. But the greatest thing that happened to me in Boston was that I suddenly started to write music. That's what I feel gave me my own style and that's what I tell my students; the deeper you search into yourself, the more will come out and writing is one of the greatest tools for that"


    "I think in the ‘80's the jazz scene was so great in Boston; there was a lot going on and I built up a nice following there. One highlight that I remember is playing at my favourite club, The 1369 Jazz Club, with Miroslav Vitous, Bob Moses, and Bob Mintzer while across the street at Riles, the band Bass Desire with John Scofield, Bill Frisell, Peter Erskine, and Mark Johnson were playing. That felt good".


    Blue Note debut with George Garzone and Harvie S Mordy moved to New York City in 1990. That year, his debut recording as a solo artist, All the Way to Sendai on Mesa Blue Moon label, introduced American audiences to Mordy's highly original playing and compositions. Scott Yanow comments, "Categorizing music, especially contemporary jazz, is an exercise in ambiguity and frustration. The once-descriptive, now convenient labels of ‘fusion' and ‘groove-oriented electric jazz' do little to define individual style. Such labels better describe what the music doesn't say, than what it communicates. There is always a buzz in the jazz community when talent of this calibre "suddenly" emerges so completely formed. The thoughtful style, the range of expression and the superb execution by all members of the group point to Ferber's being a solid influence in today's and tomorrow's jazz scene."

  • He has performed and recorded with artists such as Michael Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Eddie Gomez, Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer, Dave Liebman, Miroslav Vitous, Nana Vasconcelos, Bob Moses, Richie Beirach, Tiger Okoshi, George Garzone, Adam Nussbaum, Richard Bona, Will Lee, Larry Coryell, Joe Beck, Matt Garrison, and Billy Hart to name a few.


    New York is where Mordy makes his home while touring the world performing in places like Porgy and Bess in Vienna, Boston Globe Jazz Festival, Jerusalem Amphitheatre in Israel, L''Air du Temps in Montreal, the Santorini Jazz Festival in Greece, the Fringe in Hong Kong. Beijing CD jazz Club in China. Birdland NY. One of his favourite place to go back to year after year is the Blue Note jazz Club in New York.


    Mordy does commission work for television shows, promos, and movies. His work has been used in the United States on many television shows such as the Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Guilty on HBO, Fresh Prince, Bay Watch, Felicity, Chris Rock Special on HBO, Everybody Loves Raymond, Veronica's Closet, the VH1 Fashion Award Show, the 1996 Grammy Awards promo, and on many other prime time television shows and movies in France, Australia, Spain, Argentina, Israel, Panama, Canada and Japan.


    He is currently a faculty member at New York University and is now working on his DVD/Book , Make the tune your best friend. His 24 years of teaching experience have included private instruction and master classes in improvisation technique, harmony and composition. From 1984 to 1990, he had many Berklee students taking private lessons with him. He taught at the The New School and the American Institute for Guitar and was Chairman of the Guitar Department at the Sam Ash Institute in New York City from 1992 to 1996.


    Mordy's endorsements include: Framus®, La Bella®, Godin®, Henriksen® and Fishman®.


    Mordy's playing and compositions defy classification for the simple reason that he emulates no one and does more than his share to bring jazz into the 21st century. Writing expressive music for multiple instruments, he effortlessly joins the intricacies of melody and musicianship. As veteran pianist Richie Beirach explains, "Mordy Ferber is a very individual guitarist/composer. He has distilled the essence of the best musicians of his generation and has come up with a fresh approach within the language of contemporary guitar improvisation." As the legendary drummer, Jack DeJohnette says, "I love his sound and his feeling. He writes beautiful compositions. Mordy is committed to the highest level of quality and creativity. He is not afraid to take risks."

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