A guitarist, composer, and jazz player based in the Los Angeles area, Andy Waddell has evolved into a captivating songwriter, creating music that is extremely compelling lyrically, emotionally, harmonically, and rhythmically.
Growing up, there was no escaping music for Waddell. His father would spend weeks at a time programming all of his music into an old CD jukebox and wire speakers throughout the entire house, including the garage and backyard; needless to say music was ingrained in him early. His early influences range from bebop artists like John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Joe Pass, Bill Evans, up to modern favorites like Mark Turner, Mehldau, Rosenwinkel, and Kenny Garrett. Instrumentally, Waddell was drawn to learning the piano at age 7, eventually picked up the trombone in the 6th grade, and after studying jazz in junior high, he picked up the guitar. He credits his understanding of harmony with his first serious teacher, Joe Jewell. Waddell attended University of Southern California where he studied studio/jazz guitar. He notably studied with Bruce foreman, Joe Diorio, Pat Kelley, and Frank Potenza.
Over the years Andy has been made himself known around the world as a virtuoso jazz guitar player and composer getting international airplay and top 10 radio rankings. “Sunset to 7,” his first album as a leader, was released to critical acclaim in 2013. It earned him a spot in CMJ Magazine as one of the top five new artists, as well as a spot on numerous top 10 jazz charts. His second album, “Alive,” was released in 2015 and features LA all-stars, Josh Nelson (piano), Tom Catanzaro (tenor), Dan Lutz (bass), and Aaron McLendon (drums). “Alive” also achieved international press and radio popularity, reaching #29 on the CMJ jazz charts.
After his success with his two album releases, Waddell found himself exploring his passion for writing in other areas of music. He expanded his creativity beyond the realm of jazz and into the world of songwriting. Inspired by his own battle with mental illness and discovering songwriting as a form of self-expression and therapy, his lyrics are real, honest, and heartfelt.
He is currently recording his third album as a solo artist, and is excited to showcase his impassioned work and display a new sound those familiar with his music have not heard before. His new music will take you on a beautiful journey through thoughtful writing and stellar performances from a well-put together group of world-class musicians. The album is set to be release later this year.