Vicki Genfan took up the guitar at age five. Her father played 12-string guitar, mandolin and fiddle, and sang. Her older brother played guitar too. She studied classical music and jazz at Ithaca College in New York. Besides guitar, Genfan plays piano, banjo, hand percussion, and trombone.
In 1994, she produced her first album Native on cassette, but didn't sell it in commercially significant numbers. In 2001, she released a self-produced CD, Outside the Box. That same yeare, she won the Just Plain Folks Award for that album's title song, New Grass. In 2003, the German label Acoustic Music Records published Vicki Genfan Live, a live-recording at Open Strings Festival in Osnabrück, Germany. In 2004, Vicki Genfan placed second at Mountain Stage New Song Festival in West Virginia with her song, Eleanor. In 2006, Genfan published the double CD Up Close & Personal. The first CD in the set, Up Close, contains only instrumentals. The second, Personal, shows her singing and songwriting abilities.
Vicki Genfan had been on stage with several well-known fellow guitarists—including Tommy Emmanuel, Laurence Juber, Kaki King, and Jennifer Batten. Citing her technique and singing style, some have compared her to musicians such as Michael Hedges and Pat Metheny. Vicki Genfan featured in several American and international magazines, and was labeled "Queen of Open Tunings".
Genfan won Guitar Player magazine's Guitar Superstar '08 contest at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall in September 2008.
While not on tour abroad, she gives concerts in the northeastern United States. She is an experienced teacher, lectures at workshops and guitar clinics, and teaches private lessons. Recently she has worked on a guitar video on her music and technique, and plans to publish a book of her music. Genfan lives in Fairview, New Jersey.
Genfan labels her music "Folk meets Funk". It's a blend of jazz, funk, pop and world music in a contemporary folk context. She uses various uncommon open tunings, complex harmonies, and intricate rhythms—combining them with percussive tapping and slapping on the guitar. Her playing is characterized by "two handed tappings," explosive "tapped" and "slapped harmonics" with one or more fingers of the right hand and slapped basslines. She calls her technique slap-tap.
Her first musical inspiration was her father. Other influences include James Taylor, Michael Jackson, Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell, Meshell Ndegeocello, Marvin Gaye, Jonatha Brooke, and Leo Kottke.
Until May 2009 Genfan played a Gibson L-140, a Gibson LG and an Alvarez Silver Anniversary. The Alvarez- Guitar uses a TrueTone-pickup-system, where two microphones and a L.R. Baggs LB6-pickup send their signal to two separate outlets. Currently, Genfan plays a custom Luna guitar (http://www.lunaguitars.com/vickiusaluna.php) built by master luthier Gray Burchette and equipped with a MiniFlex internal microphone system and an under-saddle RMC hex pickup.
She owns a Guild 12 string Guitar, a Muse 12 string by Luna Guitars, and a Vega 6 string Deering-Banjo. She uses medium-gauge EXP D'Addario strings. Her engineer, Tay Hoyle, plays a main role in producing Genfan's CDs, and accompanies her on numerous tours.1994 – Native (Vicki Genfan)
2000 – Outside The Box (Vicki Genfan)
2003 – Vicki Genfan Live (Acoustic Music)
2006 – Up Close & Personal (Harmonic Touch)
2008 - Uncovered (Acoustic Sounds)
1991 – Mistaken Identity (Donna Summer, Atlantic)
2000 – Home Away From Home (Dee Carstensen, Exit Nine)
2000 – Fourth Floor (Sonya Heller)
2005 – La Guitara: Gender Bending Strings (Vanguard)
2006 – Indie Music For Life Compilation (Indie Music For Life)
2007 – Indie Music For Life Pop/Jazz Compilation (Indie Music For Life)