Tom Guarna

Grammy-nominated guitarist, composer and arranger Tom Guarna began his musical career at age 15, when his father introduced him to the guitar. His natural ability to play and compose with phrasing reminiscent of his idols, combined with a relentless drive to refine and invent a unique guitar style has made him a desired commodity in the music industry. He is currently performing and recording with jazz groups internationally, and is first-call on a wide range of projects, from session work, jazz venues, tours, and large arenas. 

photo by Pete Coco

photo by Pete Coco


Guitarist Tom Guarna

Guarna, born in Brooklyn and raised in Staten Island, grew up playing rock’n’roll and idolizing Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page before digging jazz and getting into Charlie Christian, Barney Kessel, and Jim Hall for the roots of the music and then the likes of Allan Holdsworth and John Scofield for their modern phrasing and expressive vocabulary.

Grammy-nominated guitarist, composer and arranger, Tom Guarna began his musical career at age 15 demonstrating rapidly an amazing ability to play and compose. After studying classical guitar and composition at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music in 1986, he played local gigs in New York and fine-tuned his education with John Abercrombie.

After working with several jazz bands, he joined Blood Sweat and Tears in 1995 and toured extensively with them for the next 3 years. Since then, he has forged his own voice as a modern jazz guitarist, performing with a wide range of artists including Chick Corea, Wallace Roney, Stanley Clarke, Brian Blade, Mark Turner, Branford Marsalis, Randy Brecker, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Mulgrew Miller, Fred Wesley, Mike Clark, Uri Caine, E.J. Strickland and Gary Bartz.

Since 2012, Tom Guarna led his own group throughout Europe and North America, and has been touring as a top sideman in several exciting groups led by Lenny White, E.J. Strickland, Les McCann and Manuel Valera.

Tom Guarna has recorded seven CDs as composer and leader: Get Together (2005), Out from the Underground (2007), Wingspan (2008), Major Minor (2009), Bittersweet (2011), and the hard-grooving Rush (2014) that garnered wide acclaim. He was also part of the Grammy Award-nominated 2012 album New Cuban Express by pianist Manuel Valera.

On his new CD “ The Wishing Stones” that will be released on November 10 of 2017, Tom leads an all-star quartet with drummer Brian Blade, bassist John Patitucci and pianist Jon Cowherd.

Guarna incorporates many styles (jazz, funk, latin, soul, pop, R&B, world music) into his own blend of unique and engaging music, as he forges ahead within his forte: modern jazz with a touch of classical influence with a relentless drive.