Bobby Ferrazza

  • Professor of Jazz Guitar

Areas of Study


Bobby Ferrazza was born in Cleveland and began studying guitar at 15, after developing a passion for music from listening to rock and the popular music of the time. Ferrazza branched out into many diverse forms of music, including classical, blues, ragtime, and bluegrass.

It wasn’t until he heard a George Benson record, however, that Ferrazza started to concentrate his efforts on jazz—an entirely new genre to him. After playing for less than a year, Ferrazza sought out jazz guitar legend Bill deArango for lessons.

DeArango had been a star in the 1940s, having played with many of the greats of those days: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Ben Webster, among others. The lessons with deArango were extremely formative for Ferrazza, who went on to study music at Cleveland State University. Other lessons followed with jazz guitar greats such as Joe Pass and Pat Martino.

A professional musician for more than 25 years, Ferrazza has performed in concerts all over the United States and beyond, with some of the most celebrated jazz musicians in the world, including Donald Byrd, Joey DeFrancesco, Joe Lovano, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, J.J. Johnson, Slide Hampton, Curtis Fuller, Billy Hart, Robin Eubanks, Gary Bartz, Dan Wall, Marcus Belgrave, Clark Terry, Steve Turre, Bill Watrous, Jack McDuff, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Greg Bandy, Ernestine Anderson, and Vanessa Rubin.

He has taught at the Oberlin Conservatory since 1988. He also taught at the Interlochen Arts Academy from 1992-96.

  • Bouncing With Benny, CD, with Benny Golson and The Jazz Heritage Orchestra, Motema Records
  • Beauty Surrounds Us, CD, with Oberlin jazz faculty Marcus Belgrave, Kenny Davis, Gary Bartz, Robin Eubanks, Bob Ferrazza, Peter Dominguez and Billy Hart, Oberlin Music
  • With One Accord, CD, 2002, with the Arts Center Jazz Collective
  • Rare Beauty, CD, 2000, compilation with Bob Ferrazza and various artists, Koch Jazz
  • The Way I Like It, CD, 1996, with Bob Ferrazza, Dan Wall, Ralph Armstrong and Greg Bandy, Koch Jazz

Fall 2022

Prin Pvt Jazz Guitar: — PVST 032
Sec Pvt Jazz Guitar: — PVST 080
Jazz Theory II — JAZZ 221
The Oberlin Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble — JAZZ 703
Jazz Ensemble-Small Group — JAZZ 803


Oberlin Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble Performs March 13

March 9, 2022

The Oberlin Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble, a student group created through the support of the legendary jazz musician, will perform a set in Oberlin Conservatory’s Clonick Hall recording studio...

Live From the Cat

September 2, 2020

The campus community was treated to a live-streamed jazz performance on August 28 from the Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse. The virtual concert was a first for the student-run performance space.