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John Pizzarelli to bring his talent to Huntington stage

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Pizzarelli said a lot of people have influenced his work, but he has a select few who stand out.

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John Pizzarelli

John Pizzarelli

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Submitted Photo

John Pizzarelli

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Jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli is scheduled to perform at the upcoming Mountain Stage live radio show Sunday at the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center.

Mountain Stage is celebrating Mardi Gras airing on NPR stations internationally at a later date.

Pizzarelli said a lot of people have influenced his work, but he has a select few who stand out.

“My family, especially my father, who was a jazz musician, brought me up on the music,” Pizzarelli said. “However, Nat King Cole really influenced me. Hearing his records around the time I was 20 years old really changed me and inspired me.”

Pizzarelli is well versed when it comes to working with some of the past and some of today’s greatest artists. He played with legends like Les Paul, Slam Stewart and Benny Goodman, but attributes his favorite moments to a few other people.

“Opening for Frank Sinatra and playing in the studio with James Taylor was amazing,” Pizzarelli said. “However, playing on Paul McCartney’s latest album with him was really, really fun for me. Meeting Paul was one of the biggest highlights of not only my career, but my life.”

Pizzarelli agreed with many artists about how touring is the best part of the business he is involved in.

“Performing live is the bread and butter for what I do,” Pizzarelli said. “Making records is fun because it propels your live performances, but going town to town is just a real treat.”

Mountain Stage is such a famous production that’s been around so long and reaches so many people.”

— John Pizzarelli

Pizzarelli said Mountain Stage is an enjoyable show, and it has a great audience.

“Mountain Stage is such a famous production that’s been around so long and reaches so many people,” Pizzarelli said. “It’s such an enjoyable show to be around that’s so well run. It’s real a classic radio show with a real loyal audience that are so fun to play for.”

He has several songs lined up for his Mountain Stage performance, and he said he can’t wait to play for the crowd.

“I’ll be performing a mix of songs I haven’t done in awhile,” Pizzarelli said. “There will be a mix of songs from my Duke Ellington and Double Exposure records as well as some of my new music from latest Mercer Street record of Johnny Mercer songs that came out two weeks ago.”

John Pizzarelli will perform live on Mountain Stage’s broadcast at the Keith Albee Sunday. Tickets are available at the Marshall Artists Series Box Office.

Kaitlyn Clay can be contacted at [email protected]

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