Acoustic Guitarist Terry Mitchell performed in and around the Mid-South in the 1980s and 1990s, but took a break from performing while working as a mathematician and technical writer for Lockheed Martin. Finally done with that gig, in 2015 he returned to his first love: studying, writing, and performing instrumental guitar music.
Mitchell studied classical and flamenco guitar with G. Ricardo Fusco in Memphis from 1976 until Mr. Fusco’s death in 1984. He studied voice with Dr. Vincent Malham, FSC, and acting with Anastasia Heron while a student at Christian Brothers University in the 1970s. Early professional work included serving as Artist-in-Residence for the City of Germantown, Tennessee (1987-88) and as a touring artist for the Tennessee Arts Commission (1989-1992). Prior to leaving Memphis, his acting roles included serving as the lead in Scapino! for the Beale Street Repertory Theater, and as steamboat pilot Horace Bixby in the world premier of the musical version of Mark Twain's Life On The Mississippi. He joined Actor’s
Equity while performing the role of Burl in Smoke On The Mountain in 1991 at Stages Theater in Houston, singing gospel music and playing standup bass, banjo, and mandolin in addition to guitar. Also in Houston, he served as baritone soloist and section leader for Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church.
While still in Memphis he served as orchestra guitarist for numerous productions at Playhouse-On-The-Square including Man Of La Mancha, Chicago, The Fantastiks, Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris, and Fiddler On The Roof. He played both a Protean and the banjo for A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, and provided underscoring for numerous productions including Romeo And Juliet and Cyrano de Bergerac. He played guitar for the award-winning Handy!, a musical celebration of the life of W.C. Handy, at the historic Old Daisy Theater on Beale Street. This show won Best Musical in Memphis that year and was later featured at the W.C. Handy festival in Florence, AL. The show was revived in 2019 for performance in Memphis at the Evergreen Theater Works; Mitchell helped playwright Mimmye Goode in reviewing and revising the script prior to production.
Work in the Denver area has included providing music for the silent auction at the annual St. Francis Center Anniversary Gala, and a similar event for the Mountain Resource Center in Conifer. He worked with local flamenco guitarist René Heredia in transcribing several of Heredia’s original works from guitar tablature to standard musical notation. In early 2020 he was asked by Ameriprise Financial Services to perform for their clients as part of the Grand Opening for their new office in Denver. He has recently provided music for the residents of a senior living facility in partnership with United Health Care. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, currently [fall 2020] he is not accepting new engagements.
Mitchell plays music ranging from contemporary songs by guitarists such as Leo Kottke and Adrian Legg, to classical pieces, standards, and a good number of original works. His first CD, Good Touch, was released in 2014 and can be heard on Pandora Internet Radio (https://www.pandora.com/artist/terry-j-mitchell/ARhnJhKjwvmr2VV). Featured on this CD are 5 original works, one of which (“Goodbye, Sexy Carol”) won the Texas Songwriting Contest in 1992 in the Jazz category. More recently, Mitchell’s composition “Mine/Her Dance,” was featured on a 2014 Acoustic Sampler from Oasis. This and other selections have received airplay on numerous FM and internet radio stations. Songs from his Good Touch CD can be heard on Pandora Internet Radio and is available from Apple Music for purchase or download.
Since resuming work with the instrument he has discovered the guitar compositions of Jorge Morel while “finishing all the stuff I started years ago.” Regarding his own compositions, Mitchell likes to think of one of his favorite mathematicians, Carl Friedrich Gauss, whose motto was “Pauca Sed Matura” (Latin for “Few But Ripe”). He doesn’t write a lot, but when he does it seems to come out pretty good.
Terry Mitchell lives in Colorado with his wife Stephanie. Contact him directly at: or just click the Contact button above. Thanks for stopping by.