Jefferson Pitcher is a guitarist and sound artist, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He spent his formative years involved in the Berkeley DIY punk-rock scene, at 924 Gilman Street, which still influences him today. While much of his work explores free improvisation, avant-jazz, and noise, he also draws heavily on his gift for melody, the repetitions of minimalism, the space of flamenco, and a history of performing and recording in the West Coast indie-rock scene as a singer-songwriter. Jefferson studied Latin American guitar with Jorge Strunz of Strunz and Farah, Jazz with Drew Youngs, and Flamenco guitar in Sevilla, Spain with Jose Luis Postigo.
Pitcher has released music with Attenuation Circuit (Germany), Jealous Butcher (USA), Striking Mechanism (USA), Standard Recording Co. (USA), Digitalis Recordings (USA), Camera Obscura (Australia), Tape Drift Records (USA), Moonpalace (Spain), Dutch East India (USA), Words on Music (USA), Tract Records (USA), and his own Mudita Records (USA). He has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists including Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Ikue Mori, Okkyung Lee, Scott Amendola, Mark Dresser, Sarah Weaver, Mike Bullock, Tim Keiper, Doug Van Nort, Jonathan Chen, Jason Robinson, Bob Weiner, Rosie Thomas, Christian Kiefer, J. Matthew Gerken, Denison Witmer, Kristina Forester, Ron Guensche and many more. He has twice been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and has been well reviewed by Pitchfork, Brainwashed, Blurt, The Melbourne Sun, Prefix, and Harp magazines.
He has co-directed two documentary films, which have played numerous festivals including The Palm Springs International Film Festival, Sonoma County Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, and more. He is currently working on a third about instrument builders.
Pitcher holds an MFA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he studied improvisation and composition with Pauline Oliveros, Tomie Hahn, and Neil Rolnick. He is married to author and visual artist Keri Smith, and can often be found riding his randonneuring bicycle, while daydreaming about the minutiae of guitars and the endless wonder of sound. In 2012 he began an apprenticeship with luthier Trevor Healy, followed by a course at The Whetstone School of Lutherie, and a multi-year workshop with Bill Cumpiano. He now builds guitars full time; you can find his work and more of that story at Pitcherguitars.com.