Guitarist / Composer/ Arranger/ Producer/ Educator
Residing in Stafford, Virginia, Bruce keeps a busy schedule teaching private lessons, conducting jazz and blues workshops and composing new works. A recent recording with Jawanza Kobie "Feels Better Than It Sounds" was selected by "The Jazz Critics Poll" as one of the top ten Jazz Recordings for 2013. The Bruce Middle Group (instrumental) keeps a steady performing and recording schedule producing original music in the Jazz, Latin, Americana style. Scores and recordings are available on the Music Page. He is also working with Ashleigh Chevalier (Roots Rock, Americana) performing and returning to the studio in the Fall 2014 for the next record.
Born in Arlington, Virginia Bruce exhibited a natural talent for music at an early age. His musical journey and training began under the guidance of his parents. His father, a self taught multi-instrumentalist who has passion for Folk, Blues, Bluegrass and Country music. His mother was a classically trained pianist who loved Gospel, Jazz and Symphonic music. “There was music playing in our house all the time. "Our family would have jam sessions, rehearsals, recording sessions, or just listen to the radio or records.” The lessons he received from his mentors and the discipline he applies to his craft has helped him to develop into the highly skilled session musician, performer, educator and recording artist he is today.
Musician’s musician Bruce Middle is an award-winning guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, whose individual sound has captured the ears of an ever-expanding local, national and international audience. His work as a studio musician can be heard on local and national radio commercials, television programs and various artists album recordings. The Baltimore/ Washington, D.C. music community has been supporting the work of this eleven time WAMMIE nominee (Washington Area Music Awards) for over 30 years. His nominations include Best Jazz Guitarist,Best Record and Best Jazz Ensemble. In addition, he was a 2009 semifinalist in the “King Of The Blues” competition sponsored by The Guitar Center, Inc. and has been selected as one of the regions Best Jazz Guitarists. Bruce is the guitar professor for the University of Mary Washington and directs the University of Mary Washington Guitar Ensemble. In addition, he manages a private teaching schedule at Bang! Music, Inc. In Stafford, Virginia.
Bruce’s playing and composing style is a culmination of his amazing technical expertise in styles ranging from Classical, Jazz, West African, Latin American, Brazilian, Cuban, Rock, Blues, Blue Grass, Country, R&B and Funk music. " Bruce, you are one the Washington Areas finest guitarists" (the late Charlie Byrd).
Throughout his career Bruce has worked as a sideman, band leader and musical director (Mount Ararat Baptist Church) for various artists and groups. He has had the opportunity to share the stage and studio with internationally known artists: Larry Coryell, Charlie Byrd, John Jackson, Imani, Mick Fleetwood, Okyemere Asante, Arthur Lisi, Pepe Gonzalez, Dr. Fillmore, The Rippingtons, Ron Holloway, The Brecker Brothers, Margo Chapman, Jon Carroll, Houston Person, Cleve Francis, Juanita Williams,Tim Eyermann, Gary Grainger, Jaared Aerosomena, Eric Marienthal, Kevin Walker, Bruce Guttridge, Ashleigh Chevalier, Tim Eyermann, Doug Gately, Jawanza Kobie, Gaye Adegbalola and many others.
Jawanza Kobie “Feels Better Than it Sounds”: Some of the finest changes of the whole album are heard in “Can’t Take the News.” Bruce Middle weaves a double helix of delicate and destructive guitar. Dexter Sims appears for the first time on this track and his approach to the electric bass is more aggressive which is perfectly suited for his interaction with Middle. Jawanza’s keyboards are almost majestic in the broad and climbing crescendo to the end.
TRAVIS ROGERS, JAZZTIMES
Bruce Middle contributes lyrical, articulate and delightful solos that “glide over the rhythmic foundation” of his band. “Middle takes the opportunity to show off his ample chops and dexterity on the guitar… If there was any uncertainty about Middle’s technique, his sparkling, indeed overwhelming contributions (on this album) will remove all doubt.”
Winthrop Bedford, JazzImprov Magazine
"Middle himself is a talented guitarist with a light, tuneful, fluid touch and a genuine knack for combining acoustic and electric textures into an extremely palatable blend of pop and jazz."
MIKE JOYCE, THE WASHINGTON POST
"With there affection for playful, improvisatory spirit, and masterful use of all key ingredients- tasteful acoustic touches, inventive solos, and alluring world rhythms-The Bruce Middle Group fashion an elegant sound and glistening melodies."
J. DOUG GILL, MARYLAND MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
“The Bruce Middle Group has forged a distinctive style then polished it to such a warm and decisive pitch that their music is a constant delight.”
GARRISON HULL, CONCERT STAGE AND FILM COMPOSER