By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — The John Pizzarelli Quartet will perform in concert Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building at Bucknell University. Performing with John Pizzarelli will be his younger brother, Martin Pizzarelli, on bass, pianist Larry Fuller and drummer Tony Tedesco.
The performance, which is free and open to the public, is part of the ongoing Janet Weis Cabaret Jazz Series, which is made possible by funding from the Weis family. The recital hall is an intimate space, and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
"John's father, guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, performed here at Bucknell two years ago. Although the son's popularity has all but eclipsed his father's legendary fame by this point, it's still nice to hear this son carry on the family musical tradition," said Bill Boswell, executive director of Bucknell's Weis Center for the Performing Arts and the curator of this series.
"John's international career was developed through his guitar skills and, what sets him apart from Bucky, by his vocals. He sings classic standards and late-night ballads, especially those by greats like Nat 'King' Cole and Frank Sinatra. He is among the prime revivalists of the great American songbook, and he adds his own touch of class."
Pizzarelli began playing guitar at age six, joining his father at age 20 before setting out on his own. In 1993, the John Pizzarelli Trio opened for Frank Sinatra's international tour and then joined in the celebration for his 80th birthday at Carnegie Hall. In 1999, the trio was featured in the Goldie Hawn/ Steve Martin comedy film "The Out of Towners," performing "That Old Black Magic."
In addition to being a bandleader and solo performer, Pizzarelli has been a special guest on recordings for major pop names such as James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Tom Wopat, Rickie Lee Jones and Dave Von Ronk, as well as leading jazz artists like Rosemary Clooney, Ruby Braff, Johnny Frigo, Buddy DeFranco, Harry Allen and, of course, Bucky Pizzarelli. He was recently featured opposite Donna Summer, Jon Secada and Roberta Flack on the GRAMMY Award winning CD, "Songs From The Neighborhood: The Music of Mr. Rogers."
He has performed numerous times on the country's most popular national television shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, Live With Regis & Kelly, The Tony Danza Show, The CBS Early Show, and Jerry Lewis's Labor Day Telethon. He received the Ella Fitzgerald Award last year in recognition of his versatility, improvisational originality and quality of repertoire.
For more information or to hear music samples, visit www.johnpizzarelli.com/
The final performance in the Janet Weis Cabaret Jazz fall series will be Oct. 27 with pianist Dick Hyman and clarinetist Ken Peplowski.
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