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Sheryl Bailey

Assistant Chair
Affiliated Departments

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As a leader, Sheryl Bailey has toured worldwide including in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and Hong Kong, among other places, with projects including the Sheryl Bailey 3, the Sheryl Bailey 4, the Electric Ladyland Project, and Plucky Strum. She has 11 critically acclaimed releases as a leader. Her latest is Departure (Whaling City Sound), with bass master Harvie S.

Bailey has toured and recorded with multiple renowned artists and groups including the Anat Cohen Tentet, Richard Bona, David Krakauer’s Ancestral Groove, Abraham Inc., and Irene Cara, among many others. As an educator, she has been a professor of guitar at Berklee College of Music since 2000, and was recently named the assistant chair of Berklee's Guitar Department. She also is a visiting artist at the Collective School of Music in New York City and has hosted master classes and workshops worldwide. Her Mel Bay publication, Moveable Shapes, is a top seller in their jazz curriculum series. She has developed a group of interactive courses, collectively called the Bebop Dojo Bootcamp, for an online jazz academy at

Bailey plays her Signature McCurdy Mercury model and Stonebridge acoustic guitars, and uses Acoustic Image amplifiers.

Career Highlights
  • Albums include A Meeting of Minds by the Sheryl Bailey 3, Happy Song and Triple Helix by the Anat Cohen Tentet, Checkpoint by David Krakauer's Ancestral Groove, Together We Stand and Tweet Tweet by Abraham Inc. featuring Fred Wesley, Plucky Strum: Departure by Plucky Strum, and Munia: Africa Tale by Richard Bona
  • Named a Rising Star in the Downbeat Critics Poll in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019

  • Grammy nominee for Triple Helix with the Anat Cohen Tentet, 2019
  • Recipient of the BRIO: Bronx Recognizes Its Own arts grant, 2005
  • Finalist, Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, 1998
  • School Name
    Berklee College of Music
    State or Province
    Bachelor of Music (B.M.)
    Field of Study
    Music Business
    Date Degree Received
In Their Own Words

"Learning how to use your time wisely is a universal secret of success, so I like to share my best strategies for effective practice. Mastering the ins and outs of the guitar fretboard are crucial to achieving fluid ideas and professional achievement, so helping students navigate the 'jungle of the fretboard' is a top priority. There are the facts of the notes, and then there is the feeling, soul, and inner language that lies underneath them: exploring that invisible place behind each note is what supports artistry."

"I have honed my prowess on the competitive freelance scene in New York City for over 25 years, touring, recording, and presenting concerts worldwide with some of the true masters in the business. My teaching revolves around developing real-life skills that are designed to help students realize their deepest potential as artists and professionals, and those are skills that I've honed and learned from the bandstand and sustaining a successful small business of being a professional musician and educator. How to prepare for performance, and how to get a gig and keep a gig are crucial skills for success and secrets that I love to share with my students."

"The Guitar Department at Berklee is the most comprehensive program in the world. We represent all genres, from classical, jazz, funk, rock, metal, fingerstyle, and so on, and the opportunity to study with the masters of these styles. The curriculum is the most comprehensive of any program and will prepare students for any challenge of the modern music industry. We have an ever-expanding menu of labs and ensembles so that students can gain a wide range of stylistic experiences to deepen their musicianship and versatility."

"We are a global community and multigenre community, so students can learn and be exposed to a wealth of ideas and styles that will expand their horizons as musicians and human souls. The wealth of knowledge and experience of the faculty, and the options to develop via ensembles, labs, and private instruction are unparalleled by any institution I can think of."