>Kasschau Memorial Shell is best buy in town
Friday, July 15, 2011
BY EILEEN LA FORGIA
The Ridgewood News
Bucky Pizzarelli & Friends will be featured on Thursday, July 21.
John “Bucky” Pizzarelli is one of the best known 7-string players alive.
Pizzarelli has been playing at the Shell every year since 1963 when he moved to Saddle River. His two uncles played banjos at the Shell and Pizzarelli went to listen to them. When they called him to perform he said “yes.”
He began his professional career at 17 when he joined the Vaughn Monroe Band in 1943. Then he went into the service for two years during World War II returning to the Vaughn Monroe Band for five years. After that Pizzarelli went to New York City and became a staff musician at NBC and played the Kate Smith Show. He stayed in New York City doing studio work – mostly recording sessions and played with Benny Goodman, going to Europe on tours four times. Pizzarelli also did the Tonight Show with Skitch Henderson and Doc Severensen while Johnny Carson was host. CDs with Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and Frank Sinatra followed.
His awards include ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame Induction, June 2005, and Mac Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. Pizzarelli has performed at the White House, two performances for President Ronald Reagan and one for President Bill Clinton, and played a private birthday party for Pat Nixon at the Nixon home. His concert at Rutgers University in New Brunswick featuring Bucky, Les Paul, Tal Farlow and Bucky’s son John was aired on New Jersey’s PBS station as part of their three part New Jersey Summerfare Series.
Bucky plays a Benedetto Bucky Pizzarelli Signature 7 string guitar, the additional string providing him with a bass line during performances.