John Pizzarelli

Friday, March 31


Event Description

John Pizzarelli is back at the Emelin for another incredible evening of some of the most formidable jazz guitar you will ever hear. With a style that blends the swing guitar tradition with 60’s and 70’s pop culture and music, “he is a blazing jazz player whose band and records have been among the most consistent pleasures and most reliably smart expressions of the”The Great American Songbook” of the last 25 years.” (Popmatters)


As the son of legendary jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, John was born into what the San Francisco Chronicle called “the First Family of Cool.” He started playing at age six and hasn’t stopped since; as a young man he played with greats like Benny Goodman, Les Paul, Zoot Sims, Clark Terry, and Slam Stewart. After setting out on his own in 1990 with the release of My Blue Heaven he toured extensively, opening for the likes of Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, Rosemary Clooney, and, in 1993, for Frank Sinatra himself. Along with his father, he then joined the crooner to celebrate his 80th birthday, bringing down the house at Carnegie Hall with”I Don’t Know Why I Love You Like I Do.”


Nat King Cole, though, he says, “is why I do what I do. We’re an extension, a 21st century version.” His ‘tour de force’ (Seattle Times) collection of widely varied but universally admired albums blending classics and originals includes the self-explanatory Dear Mr. SinatraJohn Pizzarelli Meets the Beatles, Let’s Share Christmas, and Live at Birdland, as well as a touching cycle of torch ballads, After Hours, classic swing on Our Love is Here to Stay, distinctive Latin rhythms on the critically-acclaimed Bossa Nova, tributes to the musicians and songwriters Pizzarelli has met through the years on Knowing You, and of course an epistle to his hero on P.S. Mr. Cole. He has also been a special guest on recordings for major pop names like James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Kristin Chenoweth, Tom Wopat, Rickie Lee Jones, and Dave Von Ronk.


He’s praised by the Boston Globe for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-popularizing jazz” and, calling him “a rare entertainer of the old school,” the Seattle Times declared, “John Pizzarelli is so impossibly cool, he shouldn’t be legally allowed to enter Oregon.” He’s performed on The Tonight Show with Jay LenoLate Show with David LettermanLate Night with Jimmy FallonThe Conan ShowLive With Regis & KellyThe Tony Danza ShowThe CBS Early Show, Fox News, the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, and at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


The treasured live performances of this “classy, urbane” (Associated Press) entertainer are, like the nationally syndicated radio program he hosts with his wife, Broadway star Jessica Molaskey, relaxed, candid, and off-the-cuff. Pizzarelli’s a longtime friend of Emelin Theatre, and we are thrilled to have him back here once again.



“Madly creative.” – The Los Angeles Times
“As good as it gets in any entertainment medium.” – The New York Times
“His performance throughout, as both vocalist and guitarist, is exceptional.” – Billboard



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