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Jazz Guitarist John Pizzarelli Bringing ‘Hip with a Wink’ Style to Hatfield Hall Theater

October 2, 2013

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John Pizzarelli

     Playful crooner and jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli and the John Pizzarelli Quartet take the stage on Friday, October 4, at 7:30 p.m. as Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Performing Arts Series continues at the Hatfield Hall Theater.

     Drawing on influences from Nat “King” Cole, George Gershwin, Frank Sinatra, and James Taylor, Pizzarelli has created a signature sound that incorporates touches of jazz, bossa nova, swing, and the Great American Songbook. He received the 2009 Ella Fitzgerald Award, joining a select group of past winners including Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett and Harry Connick, Jr.

     Called “hip, with a wink” by Town & Country, Pizzarelli followed in the footsteps of his father, the legendary jazz guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli. He began playing the guitar when six years old, and as a teenager began sitting in on sessions with his father. He had the opportunity to play alongside musical greats Les Paul, Benny Goodman, and Zoot Sims.

     After recording the album My Blue Heaven in 1990, Pizzarelli toured extensively, opening for Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, and Rosemary Clooney. In 1993, he was honored to open for Frank Sinatra’s international tour, and joined in the celebration of Sinatra’s 80th birthday at Carnegie Hall.

     Since then, Pizzarelli has employed his cool jazz flavor to give new life to old standards and create bold originals, being hailed along the way for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-popularizing jazz” by the Boston Globe.

     Pizzarelli’s catalog of albums also includes After Hours, a collection of torch ballads, the classic swing and original compositions of Our Love is Here to Stay, and John Pizzarelli Meets the Beatles, bringing a swing twist to Beatles songs a swing twist. He was featured opposite Donna Summer, Jon Secada, and Roberta Flack on the Grammy Award-winning CD, Songs From The Neighborhood: The Music of Mr. Rogers in 2005.

     His latest album, Double Exposure, is a collection of tunes by Taylor, the Allman Brothers, and Neil Young, set squarely within traditional jazz arrangements. He also appears on several tracks on Paul McCartney’s 2012 album, Kisses on the Bottom, and performed with McCartney at an iTunes concert and the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

     “Radio Deluxe with John Pizzarelli,” his nationally syndicated radio program (www.johnpizzarelli.com and iTunes), co-hosted with his wife, Broadway star Jessica Molaskey, features relaxed and candid conversations sparked with live music.

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     Before Friday night’s show, sponsored by Wise Pies Pizza and subs, the first 200 ticketholders can enjoy a complimentary slice of pizza, beginning at 6:45 p.m, as part of a special “Pizza and Pizzarelli” pre-show event.

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     Tickets for this show range from $23 to $27 for adults, and are $10 for students and youths. Tickets may be purchased in person, by calling the Hatfield Hall ticket desk at 812-877-8544 or at hatfieldhall.com. Ticket desk hours are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m., and two hours before each event. Complete season information, including artist video clips, is available at hatfieldhall.com. Find exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and more at facebook.com/HatfieldHall.