Monday, December 26, 2005

An Evening of Jazz Guitar

Jack Kleinsinger's “Highlights in Jazz, ” New York's longest running jazz series, announced their next series concert Thursday, January 5, 2006 “An Evening of Jazz Guitar” feat. Bucky Pizzarelli, Russell Malone, Gene Bertoncini, Frank Vignola with special guests Jay Leonhart and Wycliffe Gordon. This concert will be the only time these four guitarists will appear together on stage in New York City and a rare opportunity to hear these greats in a very special evening of Jazz Guitar.

Throughout the history of jazz the guitar has played a prominent role from it's earliest beginnings with Lonnie Johnson to Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Pat Metheny.

“For more than half a century seven-string plectrist Bucky Pizzarelli has been part of the fraternity of musicians who have kept mainstream and traditional jazz alive. The list of big bands and vocalists with whom Bucky has performed and recorded reads like a veritable Who's Who of Jazz. Bucky Pizzarelli is a superior guitarist who swing musicians in particular appreciate. Bucky Pizzarelli, father of John Pizzarelli, Jr., has been a fixture in jazz and the studios since the early '50s.

Russell Malone, a former student of Bucky Pizzarelli, has firmly established himself along side the guitar greats with his swift, clean and tasteful ballard playing. After stints with Jimmy Smith, Harry Connick, Jr. and Diana Kral he embarked on a solo career recording critically acclaimed albums for Columbia, Verve and MaxJazz.

Gene Bertoncini has had a long career in jazz going back to the 60s where he played on many studio recordings and in the TV orchestras of Merv Griffin and Skitch Henderson. He is an elegant, tasteful, and sensitive guitarist who can blend classical, jazz, latin and popular material and has appeared on many popular CDs as a leader with his own groups.

An extremely versatile jazz guitarist, Frank Vignola has demonstrated that he is capable of playing everything from fusion and commercial pop-jazz to hard bop, post-bop, and swing. The native New Yorker has a wide variety of influences; everyone from Les Paul, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, and Pat Metheny to Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian and of course his long-time associates Bucky Pizzarelli and Howard Alden all of whom have influenced his playing.

Rounding out the program are the superior bassist, Jay Leonhart who has also had a parallel and sometimes overlapping career as a witty lyricist and occasional singer. Another Highlights regular, the trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, is best known for his work with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. The versatile trombonist can scat, multi-note, slide, and plunge, just like he stepped out of the 1930s. Jay and Wycliffe recently debuted their duo at Dizzy's in New York City. There will be special surprise guests on this show!

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