A native North Carolinian with deep roots in the blues, John Westmoreland is a multidimensional musician. He studied jazz and classical composition at Berklee College of Music where he was also a recipient of the BEST scholarship. His teachers have been some of the foremost in the nation, including: Scott Sawyer of Raleigh NC, Jon Damian inventor of the Rubber Tellie and author of “The Guitarists Guide to Composing and Improvising,” and most recently he had the opportunity to study with the world renowned Malian virtuoso Djelimady Tounkara. He’s also attended a number of master classes including a workshop and performance with legendary jazz guitarist Jim Hall.
In 2011 He started collaborating with Senegalese griot Diali Cissokho who introduced him to the rich, captivating music of West Africa. It wasn’t long before they were playing together in the NC based band Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, and also performing together as a duo exploring the beautiful soundscapes of guitar and kora. As a solo artist he plays his own dynamic, and sensitive interpretations— interweaving jazz standards, African traditional music, Blues, Bach, the American Songbook, as well as his own original compositions.
Always looking for new and interesting directions to take his craft, he also provides improvisational accompaniment for yoga classes, and is currently exploring other ways that music can facilitate healing and personal growth.