“My piano influences are many and varied. They include, to name a few, Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Sonny Clark, Herbie Nichols, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Rowles, Richard Twardzik, Glenn Gould, Bill Evans, Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley, and, of course, the greatest of all, Art Tatum. My ongoing commitment has always been to absorb and, in turn, develop something of my own, which I consider the very definition of a jazz musician.” – Mike Wofford
Having appeared on over two hundred recordings as a sideman, pianist Mike Wofford now continues to record and perform primarily as a leader. He has received critical acclaim for his Live at Maybeck, vol. 18 in the Concord Records solo piano series, and his 2004 CD Live at Athenaeum Jazz on Capri Records, with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Victor Lewis.
In 2008, Capri released Live at Athenaeum Jazz, vol. 2, a duo CD with his wife, flutist Holly Hofmann. Mike’s newest quintet CD Turn Signal, due out in January 2012, is also on Capri and is co-led with Hofmann, featuring Terell Stafford on trumpet.
A native Texan, Wofford was raised in San Diego, California where he resides currently. His mother was a professional singer, and he began studying piano at age seven. At nineteen, he moved to Los Angeles and entered the jazz scene there in the early 1960s.
His first professional performances were with the legendary Lighthouse All-Stars and the bands of Teddy Edwards, Art Pepper, Red Norvo, Chet Baker, Bud Shank, Zoot Sims, Shorty Rogers and Maynard Ferguson, as well as a tenure as singer June Christy’s accompanist. It was during this time that he also appeared on his first jazz recordings with Mel Tormé, Gary Burton and Joe Pass. He also subsequently recorded the first albums on Epic and Discovery Records under his own name.