About Courtney: Guitarist/Composer/Educator
Courtney is available for solo guitar as well as duos, trios, quartets and larger ensembles. He has an active teaching practice and is currently accepting new students.
Guitarist Courtney Sappington lives in the New York City area where he gigs and teaches. He hales from Baltimore originally, where he studied with the wonderful jazz guitarist and educator Larry Wooldridge, and played in the Peabody Jazz Ensemble. To make a living and get playing experience, he played in bands five and six nights a week in clubs. In the 80s he moved to Los Angeles, CA to attend and graduate from The Musicians Institute. While there he studied with Joe Diorio, a world renowned jazz guitarist and instructor.
While in Los Angeles, Courtney played with the Gil Askey Orchestra, a jazz and R&B big band; also in the rhythm section were Ricky Minor, bassist and producer, and drummer Clayton Cameron. This band regularly backed up jazz and blues singers Jimmy Witherspoon, Ernie Andrews, Ester Phillips, and Lorez Alexander and on one occasion, Michael Jackson. Courtney also joined the Alphonse Mouzon band, and alongside Gerald Albright and others, toured throughout California. After about five years in Los Angeles, Courtney relocated to New York City where he has lived ever since.
Courtney has done extensive touring both in the U.S and internationally with several artists, most notably the great R&B singer Bobby Womack. On one memorable tour with Womack, Sly Stone was a featured guest performer and the Womack band played Sly and the Family Stone songs with him every concert. While on tour with Womack, Courtney had the opportunity to back up such artists as Wilton Felder, Millie Jackson, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Lulu, Stevie Wonder, Ronnie Wood, and Paul Young.
Courtney also toured with Garland Jeffries and Ben E. King and most recently 1960's pop icon Petula Clark.
Throughout his career Courtney has played with such jazz notables as Jeff Andrews, Charles Earland, Rachel (Z) Hakim, Ed Howard, Jerry Jemmott, Mike Karn, Matt King, Steve LaSpina, Hendrik Meurkens, Jaco Pastorius, Tim Reis, and Jason Tiemann.
On the pop side, Courtney has shared the stage with such notables as Rick Derringer, Art Garfunkel, Lyle Lovett, Jim Messina, Phoebe Snow, Steven Stills, and Jimmy Webb.
Broadway work includes “Smokey Joe’s Cafe”, “Footloose”, “Swing”, "Saturday Night Fever”, “Good Vibrations”, and "Hairspray". He has also played for the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus.
Courtney's guitar playing can be heard on recordings, theme songs and TV commercials.