An inquisitive and restless musical spirit, Dr. Buzz Gravelle is a fretless guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, recording artist, music professor, and business owner.
His love for contemporary composition was first kindled through his studies at UCLA with the late guitar pedagogue Theodore Norman and guitarist/composer Peter Yates. Buzz’s compositions are informed by a modernist’s perspective, yet are lyrical and expressive. His compositions for guitar have been performed by guitarists Mak Grgic, Sergio Puccini, the Modern Arts Guitar Quartet, the Elgart/Yates guitar duo, the Thomson/Ratzkowski Duo (Denmark), the New Music Ensemble of North Texas State University, the Cal Poly Pomona University Guitar Ensemble, and the UCLA Guitar Ensemble, among others.
Buzz is one of few professional fretless classical guitarists in the US. He believes it’s potential has largely been untapped, and has set about to raise awareness of its possibilities through original compositions, a strong online presence, pedagogical materials, lecture/demonstrations, interviews, podcasts, and performances. In 2019 he released to popular acclaim "The Realm of Endless Concepts", an album of all original compositions for fretless classical guitar.
Buzz was a founding member of the Modern Arts Guitar Quartet (active 1991-1994), an ensemble of guitarists/composers that explored the leading edges of new music for guitar--prepared guitar, serialism, minimalism, and aleatoric music. the MAGQ performed throughout the Western United States and Europe.
Buzz was a founding member and mandolinist of ensembleFRET, a performance collective (active 2012-2018). It's programs featured music for guitar, mandolin, and arpeggione, whether solo, in duos and trios, or in expandable combination with guest vocalists and instrumentalists. Results ranged from intimate art-song to massed guitars.
Buzz holds both M.F.A. and D.M.A. degrees in Music from UCLA. In addition to his studies with Peter Yates and Theodore Norman, Buzz has studied composition with Manuel Enriquez, Roger Bourland, and Ian Krouse; lute and theorbo with Michael Egan; and jazz guitar with Warren Nunes.
Buzz has over twenty-five years of experience as a music educator. He is on the faculty of California Polytechnic University at Pomona where he teaches music theory and other classes and coordinates the guitar studies program.
In June 2021 Buzz co-founded G&G Guitars. official and exclusive resellers of Altamira fretless guitars.