The Cool Cat
Blues, featuring Mr. Wayne Anderson
By: Kat Andrews
When I think of someone being
referred to as a "cool cat", the list of people I would bestow such a
title on is small. Wayne Anderson, makes that list. With his rich and
soulful jazz and blues guitar sounds, Wayne is the epitome of a cool
Wayne grew up, the youngest child in a family of musicians
and theater performers, in a small town in Connecticut. His father,
Clarence Anderson Jr., was a music teacher/trumpet player and he
encouraged Wayne to pursue his love of music at an early age. As a
result Wayne played several instruments, including the drums and the
sax, before finding his nitch with the guitar at the age of nine.
With family jam sessions being a regular occurrence in Wayne's home
growing up, it was natural for Wayne to seek out others with musical
talent to jam with in his teenage years. "High school was when I really
started thinking about music as a profession." Wayne reflects. The band
he was in while in high school, played their very first paying gig for a
graduation party. "It was very cool" says Wayne.
school, Wayne was itching to see the world and dreaded the thought of
going to college so soon after graduating. So, Wayne enlisted in the
Navy instead. "It was great" says Wayne, "I got to see a lot of cool
places and experienced life beyond the small country town I grew up
in." After four years in the Navy, Wayne settled down in the town he
was last stationed in. The Bay Area's very own, San Francisco.
After his time in the Navy Wayne, who never ceased in pursuing his love
of music, began taking every jazz, blues, classical, Brazilian,
composition and theory guitar class he could find. As a result, Wayne
has had the privileged of studying under great musicians such as Warren
Nunes (Author of The Jazz Guitar Chord Bible), Adam Levy (Norah Jones
guitarist), David Hartman, Bob Bozina and Steve Erquiaga. Wayne also
attended the Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco for many years.
Wayne has a list of past performances as long as your arm! The
highlights on that list include performing at the San Francisco Filmore
Jazz Festival and the North Beach Jazz Festival; as well as performing
along side artists such as Herbie Lewis, Donald "Duck" Bailey, Pete
Yellin, Sonny Simmons, Ed Kelly, Andy Narell, Vince Lateano. Wayne's
current projects include working with jazz vocalist Lily Layton, Doug
Ellington (grandson of the great Duke Ellington); and is a member of
both the Dwayne Oakley Jazz and Blues Ensemble and the Jim Grantham
Quartet. Wayne is also working on his own solo CD of completely
original music as well as his own guitar method.
Along with a
history overflowing with musical experiences and influences, Wayne
absolutely loves passing on his knowledge and passion for music to his
students. Wayne has been teaching guitar at Starland Music for ten
years, and has taught for fifteen years all together. When I asked
Wayne what his favorite part about teaching was he had this to say
"Teaching music is really rewarding! When everything clicks with my
student for the first time and I see that love and passion for music
begin to grow in them, it's amazing! When I see in them the desire to
perform, compose or even teach music themselves, it makes me so proud to
be a music teacher."
KA: Which concert is your favorite of all
that you have attended?
Hands down, Pat Martino Live at Yoshi's. It was so good they made it
into a CD!
KA: What hobbies do you enjoy outside of music?
WA: I love to draw, play soccer and
KA: Which album is in your music player right now?
WA: Kurt Rosenwinkle, Live at the
KA: Who are your musical influences?
WA: There are so many! Jimi
Hendrix, Jeff Beck, BB King, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Lee Morgan and
Charlie Parker just to name a few.
KA: Where can we see you
WA: A couple of Sunday's
a month with the Jim Grantham Quartet at The Coffee Mill in Oakland from
3pm-6pm; and every Friday with Dwayne Oakley's Jazz and Blues Ensemble
at Le Colonial in San Francisco from 6pm-9:30pm.
Wayne's Website at