A native of California, Dr. Buzz Gravelle is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and music educator. His love for contemporary composition was first kindled through his studies at UCLA with the late guitar pedagogue Theodore Norman and guitarist/composer Peter Yates. Buzz has been performing on guitar and other instruments for over thirty years in variety of musical genres--classical, experimental, popular, rock, jazz and blues, and world music.
Buzz was a founding member of the Modern Arts Guitar Quartet, an ensemble of guitarists/composers that explored the leading edges of new music for guitar--prepared guitar, serialism, minimalism, and aleatoric music. MAGQ performed throughout the Western United States and Europe.
Buzz is one of few professional fretless classical guitarists in the US, and has set about to raise awareness of its possibilities through original compositions, recordings, lecture/demonstrations, and performances.
Buzz is a founding member of ensembleFRET, a performance collective founded in 2012. It's programs feature music for guitar, mandolin, and arpeggione, whether solo, in duos and trios, or in expandable combination with guest vocalists and instrumentalists. Results range from intimate art-song to massed guitars. ensembleFRET performs regularly in the Los Angeles area.
Buzz holds both M.F.A. and D.M.A. degrees in Music from UCLA. In addition to his studies with Peter Yates and Theodore Norman, Buzz has studied composition with Manuel Enriquez, lute and theorbo with Michael Egan; and jazz guitar with Warren Nunes.
Buzz has over twenty-five years of experience as a music educator. He is on faculty at California Polytechnic University at Pomona, where he teaches guitar, music theory, and other courses. He is also the co-owner, Director, and a guitar and piano instructor at the Santa Monica Academy of Music, which he co-founded with his wife Jessi Spike-Gravelle 21 years ago.