Charismatic Swinging Dazzling
- Sunday, Apr 9, 2017
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About John Pizzarelli
World-renowned jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli has been called “hip with a wink” by Town & Country, “madly creative” by the Los Angeles Times. Using performers like Nat “King” Cole, Frank Sinatra and Joao Gilberto and the songs of composers from Richard Rodgers, George Gershwin to James Taylor, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Lennon & McCartney as touchstones, John Pizzarelli has established himself as one of the prime interpreters of the Great American Songbook and beyond, bringing to his work the cool jazz flavor of his brilliant guitar playing and singing. He has been credited by the Boston Globe for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-popularizing jazz.”
Pizzarelli started playing guitar at age six, following in the tradition of his father, Bucky Pizzarelli. After playing in pickup groups and garage bands through high school he began exploring jazz with his father as a teenager, and was able to perform with a number of great jazz musicians who would be a major influence on his work, including Benny Goodman, Les Paul, Zoot Sims, Clark Terry and Slam Stewart. John went out on his own after recording My Blue Heaven for Chesky Records in 1990, then toured extensively, playing clubs and concert halls, opening for such greats as Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis and Rosemary Clooney. In 1993, he was honored to open for Frank Sinatra’s international tour and then joined in the celebration for his 80th birthday at Carnegie Hall bringing down the house singing “I Don’t Know Why I Love You Like I Do” with his father accompanying him.
For Pizzarelli though, his hero and foundation was Nat “King” Cole, and the comparison to his iconic trio is the highest of compliments. In fact, Pizzarelli devoted his RCA albums Dear Mr. Cole and P.S. Mr. Cole to music made famous by the beloved song stylist. Pizzarelli’s latest project, 2015’s Midnight McCartney, explores the lesser-known gems in Paul McCartney’s amazing songbook.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“the genial genius of the guitar” -Toronto Star
“a tour de force… a rare entertainer of the old school.” -Seattle Times