The Black-faced Solitaire is similar to the Varied Solitaire (Myadestes coloratus) and to the Andean Solitaire (Myadestes ralloides), and all three previously were classified as a single species (Hellmayr 1934, Ripley 1964). Presumably these species are closely related.
The genus Myadestes is confined to the New World. Phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence data, from the mitochondrial ND2 and cytochrome b genes, indicates that Myadestes is part of a basal clade that is sister to the main thrush clade (Klicka et al. 2005).