Sal DiFusco

Position
Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments
Faculty Bio E-Mail
Telephone
617-747-8224

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Sal DiFusco has extensive experience in writing, recording, producing, and performing with many world-class artists. He has toured the world performing original music with favorable reviews by top national entertainment magazines. He has recorded three solo records—Nevertheless, Great Exploits, and Vanishing Mist—and has performed his original music in countries including Russia, France, Hungary, Italy, and Taiwan, among others. He has toured extensively in the U.S in cities that include Boston, New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.

DiFusco makes his home in Boston and has taught at Berklee College of Music since 1998. He is known by his students as an inspirational teacher with great technique and a command of a diverse list of styles including rock, jazz, blues, funk, and Latin. He describes his sound as jazz and rock fusion.

Throughout his musical career, DiFusco has shared the stage with some of the best musicians out there. He currently manages the in-demand R&B group Radiance that performs throughout the New England area. In addition, he maintains an active performance schedule with his own group, the Sal DiFusco Project.

He has developed himself through rigorous studies with masters of music education including Jon Damian, Jerry Bergonzi, and the late Charlie Banacos. He also obtained a four-year professional diploma in jazz composition from Berklee College of Music.

Career Highlights
  • Guitarist
  • Leader of the Sal DiFusco Group
  • Solo recording Nevertheless
  • Recordings include Chase the Fire by Heart and Fire and the Radicals' City of Hope
  • Performances and recordings with various rock and jazz groups and artists including Speech from Grammy-winning group Arrested Development, Layla Hathaway, ​Susan Tedeski, ​Peter Erskine, ​and Gary Burton, ​among many others
Education
  • Professional Diploma, Berklee College of Music, jazz composition 
In Their Own Words

real strong sense of what it takes to be a working professional in the music industry with the ability to make a great living doing what you love."

"I have had the honor of working as a band leader in many musical situations since the age of 9, most recently with my 10-piece band Radiance that continues to perform for very high-end affairs and corporate events since 2003. The experience I have gained in leadership, organization, and preparation has served me well in being able to help students gain a vision for their careers in the music industry."

"Both my father and mother were born in Italy. My father played mandolin and guitar, and my grandfather played mandolin. So at a very young age I learned all the traditional Italian melodies, which were good for my technique—especially the fast melodies, because they could be very challenging. Playing mandolin with the fast strokes on the right hand helped my right-hand technique the most."

"A lot of guitar players are challenged with right-hand technique, so I'm able to help them with that. Students also come to me for my versatility; learning lots of different styles is what kept me working over the years, so I try to pass that on. I also give them the benefit of my experience with different aspects of guitar playing in the music business: touring, bandleading, recording, and writing."

"In the first-level ensemble I teach, the goal is to take students with little to absolutely no experience performing in ensembles and get them to sound like a band. It's awesome to see them come from nothing and go to being able to perform—and to see their excitement, too, is quite amazing."

"I'm very tough and have high expectations in the classroom. But while my students think my classes are challenging, I don't really expect them to perfect what I give them. You can be introduced to a lot of things and not master them until many years later. I just whet their appetites with a lot of concepts so they can develop them on their own."

"Artistic development is important to me; I get a great amount of joy in developing people musically. Music is such a hard business, but I don't want my students to be deflated. I want to inspire them that there's a place for them in this music business."