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Ken Hatfield

Ken Hatfield

Online & Astoria, NY

" Guitarist, Composer, Arranger, Educator"

Services: Guitar, Improvisation (Music), Music Theory, Musical Arrangement, Musical Composition

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Guitarist and composer Ken Hatfield’s rare combination of talents makes him a truly singular artist. With his boundless imagination, formidable fingerstyle technique, and expansive musical knowledge, he has created a body of work of astonishing originality and exceptional quality. In June 2006 the ASCAP Foundation honored Ken by presenting him with its prestigious Jazz Vanguard Award in recognition of his “innovative and distinctive music that is charting new directions in jazz.”

Hatfield’s seven CDs as a leader on the Arthur Circle Music label demonstrate his tremendous gifts as both composer and performer and attest to his consistently high level of artistry. His releases have established a firm presence on the national jazz radio and adult eclectic radio charts and have garnered wide recognition from the critics. Ken’s 2006 solo release, String Theory, highlights his technical virtuosity and versatility as he performs a group of original works composed for classical guitar, dobro, and mandolin. Andy Ellis wrote in Guitar Player (April 2006): “It’s a treat to stumble across fresh guitar sounds and novel concepts, and guitarist Ken Hatfield offers both in his latest solo album. . . . Throughout String Theory, Hatfield’s playing is brainy, dynamic, and relentlessly melodic.” In JAZZIZ magazine (March 2004), Bill Milkowski chose Hatfield’s trio CD, The Surrealist Table, as one of the 20 top acoustic guitar albums to have. And in JazzTimes (Jan./Feb. 2003) Jim Ferguson wrote of Hatfield’s Phoenix Rising CD: “Recommended for those with an affinity for the subtle and sublime.”

Hatfield’s compositional experience covers a wide range of styles and instrumentations. In addition to composing jazz works for his own ensembles, he has written chamber pieces that range from solo classical guitar to string quartet and mixed ensembles of various sizes. He has composed choral works and ballet scores, including commissioned works for Judith Jamison, The Washington Ballet Company, and the Maurice Béjart Ballet Company. And he has written scores for television and film, including Eugene Richards’ award-winning documentary but, the day came. Arthur Circle Music has published five books of Hatfield’s compositions, and in 2005 Mel Bay published his book Jazz and the Classical Guitar: Theory and Application, which is designed to demonstrate Ken’s unique approach to playing jazz on a classical guitar.

In addition to performing as a solo artist and with his ensembles at such prestigious venues as The JVC Jazz Festival, The Knitting Factory, The Classic American Guitar Show, The Smithsonian Jazz Café, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Whitney Sculpture Court, and the North Wales International Jazz Guitar Festival, Hatfield has performed and/or recorded with Charlie Byrd, Jack McDuff, Chico Hamilton, Jimmy McGriff, Melissa Manchester, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Stephanie Mills, Linda Hopkins, Billy Daniels, Pat Benatar, Maurice Hines, Charles Aznavour, Bob Cranshaw, Grady Tate, Harold Mabern, Brian Torff, Marcus Miller, Kenny Kirkland, Dom Salvador, João Donato, Claudio Roditi, Lew Tabackin, Kenny Werner, Ben E. King, Eddie Kendricks, Marlena Shaw, Vivian Reed, Z.Z. Hill, and Toni Braxton.

Hatfield began studying the guitar with John Griggs in his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, before enrolling at the Berklee College of Music, where he joined the faculty at the age of 19. He studied counterpoint and composition with Paul Caputo in New York City, and received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York.

Ken plays Buscarino guitars, uses Luthier strings, and Earthworks mics.


acoustic classical electric fingerstyle jazz

Improvisation (Music)

Music Theory

harmony composition

Musical Arrangement

Musical Composition

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  • Mike L. February 6, 2011

    "I have been a student of Ken's since November 2009. The experience has been fantastic. I am a classical guitarist who studied with Ken's former teacher and transferred to Ken after John's death late in 2009. I have improved more in the past year than in the past 5 years using the combination of Ken's Jazz and the Classical Guitar book and his 24 Etudes. I am now playing professionally as well as both a classical and jazz guitarist. The remote lessons work great. I record my lesson every week using Garage Band and send it to him using Gmail. Then Ken sends me back his comments and we talk on the phone once each a week. "

  • Are you offering any other lesson length/rate options?

    Yes, I also offer a one hour lesson for $75 or group of 4 one hour lessons for $250.

4 Lessons


per lesson

(4) 60-minute sessions


100% Guaranteed

12 Lessons


per lesson

(12) 60-minute sessions

You Save $105

100% Guaranteed

Save 10%
Looking for 30-minute lessons?

4 Lessons


per lesson

(4) 30-minute sessions


100% Guaranteed

12 Lessons


per lesson

(12) 30-minute sessions

You Save $52.5

100% Guaranteed

Save 10%
Looking for 60-minute lessons?