"Life gets harder every day
And hope seems farther and farther away
But everything just might turn out okay"
- Garrett Waite (State of Things)
A renaissance man in the truest sense of the word, musician/magician/actor Garrett Waite traverses many disciplines and mediums to provide original and life affirming experiences.
As a guitarist, he is a difficult character to pin down. One night he’s soaring at light speed above a jazz rhythm section, the next he’s picking old Appalachian folk songs, singing poetic lyrics over fingerpicked cascades, or blasting his Telecaster at full volume on the road with alt-pop outfit, Day Tvvo. A student of music driven by deep curiosity, Garrett is comfortable in the realms of jazz, folk, rock, avant-garde, world music, and more. Despite his eclectic tendencies, his music always retains a distinct melodicism and humanness that cut through no matter the musical setting.
Garrett recently graduated with Honors and a Division Achievement Award from Berklee College of music, which he attended with scholarship. He was a finalist in the Wilson Center Guitar Competition (Jazz Division, 2018), and won 1st Place in the NATS singing competition (Classical Division, 2015). He was handpicked by Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard to play and compose in the Jazz Composition Workshop, and later the X-Tet.
He is endorsed by Donmoyer Guitars.
He can be heard performing around Milwaukee, and has frequent monthly residencies at the historic Jazz Estate. Find out more about upcoming performances here.
Garrett is an accomplished sleight of hand artist, and uses his magic to awaken a sense of wonder and possibility too often neglected in modern society. While living in Boston, he gave weekly magic performances and workshops at Y2Y, a student-run overnight program for young adults experiencing homelessness. He currently performs frequently behind the magic bar at the legendary SafeHouse (the schedule for which can be found here).
As a child, Garrett took violin, viola, and piano lessons, but his heart was already set on the guitar from hearing his father’s Elvis records. In fourth grade, he began taking guitar lessons with his Spanish teacher. He quickly advanced to the point where she suggested he find a new instructor. In playing with local rock and blues musicians, Garrett improved his skills on bass, guitar, and vocals, as well as his ability to improvise and interact musically with other players. During the summer before his freshman year in high school, Garrett recorded his first original album, And We Watched, with help from Kenn Fox.
During high school, Garrett participated in the top choir, top jazz band, and top orchestra (playing upright bass). He also lead a jazz oriented rock group of fellow students. During senior year he was awarded the KM Renaissance Award (for astounding achievement and mastery of three or more fine art forms). For his senior portfolio, he produced a full-length show which included music, comedy sketches, and magic.
In 2019, Garrett worked with friend Brian Linzer to co-organize a concert fundraiser called "The Bee Jamboree" which raised awareness of the difficulties faced by the bee population and raised money for the Hives For Haiti Project.
Some of his notable teachers both at Berklee and elsewhere include Jack Grassel, NEA Jazz Master JoAnne Brackeen, Kenny Werner, Grammy Award Winner Terence Blanchard, Mick Goodrick, Kenn Fox, Mike Stern, David Fiuczynski, and David Tronzo.
He has shared the stage with internationally and/or locally known legends such as Jack Grassel, Kenny Werner, Nicholas Payton, Devin Drobka, Joey Blake, Steve Grimm (of Bad Boy), and Craig Baumann.
He has also studied with some of the true greats in magic including Jeff McBride, Derek Delgaudio, Derek Hughes (seen on America's Got Talent), and Kostya Kimlat (seen on Fool Us).
Inspired by legends like John Coltrane, John Mclaughlin, and Milton Nascimento, his goal is to create art that is spiritually uplifting and inspires people to make the best out of difficult times.
Awards and Accomplishments
Endorsed by Donmoyer Guitars 2022
Artist in residency at the Jazz Estate 2022
Division Achievement Award from Berklee Guitar Department 2020
Released EP "Whatever It Is" 2019
Wilson Center for the Arts Guitar Competition (Jazz division finalist, Rock/Blues division semi-finalist) 2018
Performed at Berklee Songs for Social Change Showcase 2018
Scholarship to Berklee College of Music 2016
Recipient of the KMHS Renaissance Award 2016
Senior High School Recital "Garrett Waite and Friends (AKA Not Quite Hamilton" 2016
Tommy Award recipient: Outstanding Lead Performer 2016
National Association of Teachers of Singing competition (1st Place Classical Division, 2nd Place Musical Theater Division) 2015
Performer in Overture Center for the Arts' Rising Stars Showcase 2014
3rd Place Tannen's Magic Camp Senior Stage Competition (Philadelphia) 2014
Released album And We Watched produced by Kenn Fox and mastered by Vinny Millevolte 2012