New Philharmonia Orchestra Presents: An Evening with John Pizzarelli

"As a guitarist who leads his own quartet, he [John Pizzarelli] instigates high-speed musical conversations within the group that have the fast, frisky playfulness of a pro basketball team tossing off a victory," wrote Stephen Holden, New York Times
Jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli
Jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli
NEWTON, Mass. - May 23, 2015 - PRLog -- Newton, MA--For the finale of its 20th Anniversary Season, New Philharmonia Orchestra will present "An Evening With John Pizzarelli" on Friday, June 12, 8 pm at the First Baptist Church, 848 Beacon Street, Newton, MA 02459. The world-renowned jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli will perform with his quartet featuring Martin Pizzarelli on bass, Kevin Kanner on drums and Konrad Paszkudzki on piano, as well as with the full New Philharmonia Orchestra and, as a special treat, Boston's own Bo Winiker will guest conduct the orchestra.

Reserved seat tickets starting at $35, $50 and $100 are available now at or by calling: 617-527-9717. A limited number of $500 VIP tickets will also be available; they will include "Pizza With Pizzarelli" reception after the concert with pizza and fine Italian wines.  The First Baptist Church in Newton is wheelchair accessible.  For more information about New Philharmonia, go to "An Evening With John Pizzarelli" is a fundraiser for the orchestra.

Jazz guitarist and singerJohn Pizzarelli was called “Hip with a wink” by Town & Country, “madly creative” by the Los Angeles Times and “the genial genius of the guitar” by The Toronto Star.

John Pizzarelli has a new CD:  John Pizzarelli Salutes Johnny Mercer, released January 20, 2015 on Deluxe Sounds.  Recorded live at Birdland with John's quartet expanded by a horn section, tracks on the new disc include well-known Johnny Mercer tunes such as "Goody Goody," "Skylark," "Something's Gotta Give," and "Too Marvelous for Words."

After his smash success with the Boston Pops, he was hailed by the Boston Globe for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-popularizing jazz.” And the Seattle Times called him “a tour de force” and “a rare entertainer of the old school.” Before a recent show in the northwest, the local paper quipped “John Pizzarelli is so impossibly cool, he shouldn’t be legally allowed to enter Oregon.”

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.

Pizzarelli started playing guitar at age six, following in the tradition of his father. 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. “I’ve always said in my concerts that Nat ‘King’ Cole is why I do what I do.” But Pizzarelli adds, “We aren’t trying to copy him. His sound was singular and inspired. I’ve always said we’re an extension, a 21st century version of what that group was.” 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 catalog of albums also includes a touching cycle of torch ballads (After Hours), a collection of classic swing and bold originals (Our Love is Here to Stay), and a charming holiday disc (Let’s Share Christmas).  On one of his last projects for RCA, John Pizzarelli Meets the Beatles, he brought classic Beatles songs into the worlds of swing and smoky balladry.

A popular TV commercial for Foxwoods Casino has made Pizzarelli a recognizable face. “In the Northeast, I can see people staring at me on the street. ‘The Wonder Of It All’ is a great tune,” he enthuses of the Don Sebesky-arranged number. “And people are calling the casino to ask ‘who’s that guy singing?’ If I’m going to be associated with a jingle, I’m happy that at least it’s something I like.” In 1997, Pizzarelli made his Broadway debut in the musical Dream, a revue of Johnny Mercer songs.

Pizzarelli signed with the GRAMMY® Award winning label Telarc International in 1999 recording a string of successful CDs starting with Kisses In The Rain, a diverse set of standards and original tunes that showcases the spontaneity of his live performances within a studio setting, followed by Let There Be Love.

In addition to being a bandleader and solo performer, John has been a special guest on recordings for major pop names such as James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Kristin Chenoweth, 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 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.

John has performed on the country's most popular national television shows such as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “The Conan Show,” “Live With Regis & Kelly,” “The Tony Danza Show,” “The CBS Early Show,” Fox News Channel, the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

New Philharmonia Presents
An Evening with John Pizzarelli

Friday, June 12, 2015, 8 PM
First Baptist Church
848 Beacon Street, Newton, MA 02459
Tickets:  $500 VIP seating with "Pizza & Pizzarelli" Gala Reception After the Concert
$100, $50 and $35 or call: 617-527-9717

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