“Doug Munro…well he can flat out play!” Dr. Lonnie Smith
Master musician and guitar virtuoso Doug Munro is an established veteran of the New York music scene. Since 1987 he has released 17 albums as a leader and has appeared on over 75 recordings as a sideman, producer, and arranger working with a diverse array of artists including Dr. John, Michael Brecker, B.B. King and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Doug has over 75 original published compositions and over 300 recorded arrangements performed by some of the finest players in the world. He has released recordings in many jazz styles including soul-Jazz, organ trio, Latin, and his latest and greatest passion, Gypsy jazz.
Doug Munro is a long-time faculty member at Litchfield Jazz Camp and is responsible for founding what has become an annual Litchfield Jazz Fest attraction—the Litchfield Jazz Orchestra. He birthed the idea when he asked the Artistic Director if she’d like him to do a fest set taking the music of Django Reinhart, scoring his music for a jazz big band, and creating that band using the top Camp professionals and a few of their mentees. It was not a good idea; it was a great one. That was 2016 and we have been featuring Dougs band concept since.
This year Doug Munro is back on the festival with something very special. He happens to be the great nephew of Harry Warren (nee Salvatore Antonio Guaragna,1893-1981) one of America’s most prolific (800+ songs) and enduring composers of standards like Lullaby of Broadway, Forty Second Street, I Only Have Eyes for You, and the immortal At Last which has become a pop and jazz super- star-standard. Warren’s songs also appeared in 300+ films.
Combining his love for his uncle’s music and for the Gypsy style, Doug spent 3 years refining the concept, picking the songs, and arranging, recording and filming the project that would become Doug Munro and La Pompe Attack: The Harry Warren Songbook. This Gypsy swing-infused tribute CD was released in early 2017. This is the performance you will hear at the 2018 fest with some of the musicians on the original record and a one newcomer.
Doug, who founded the Jazz Studies program at SUNY Purchase College, has received two Grammy nominations and two NAIRD awards. Amazon.com picked Boogaloo to Beck on which Doug performed, arranged, and co-produced, as one of its Top Ten Jazz CD’s of 2003. He also did orchestration for the Oscar-winning documentary When We Were Kings. In 2011, A Very Gypsy Christmas was picked as one of the top five holiday releases by the Wall Street Journal.
Doug has written four books on jazz improvisation for Alfred Music Publications, including Swing to Bebop, which won the Music and Sound Retailers instructional book of the year award in 2000. Doug served as Director of the Jazz Studies Program at The Conservatory of Music at Purchase College from 1993-2002 and continues teaching there as Director Emeritus.
Doug Munro appears at Litchfield for the second time this year. He is joined by Vinny Raniolo and Ted Gottsegen on guitar, Matt Dwonszyk on bass and Andrei Matorin on violin. Matt and Andrei are both Doug’s Litchfield Jazz Camp colleagues. Andre, who was a student for many years, “blames” the Camp in general and its founder in particular for his choice of career.