Jazz Guitar Great Bucky Pizzarelli, Recovered From Stroke, Returns To The Stage

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 04:49 PM Written by 


bucky pizzarelli-2015

Seven-string jazz guitar great Bucky Pizzarelli, 90, who suffered a stroke in late October, was seen in a couple of Facebook postings earlier this year with his grandchildren and, in late April, with his son, singer-guitarist John Pizzarelli. Information about his status had been difficult, if not impossible, to come by except that he was working to recover.  Hospitalized nearly two months and also battling pneumonia, he had missed his annual birthday celebration at Manhattan's 92
nd Street Y. 

Sunday evening, Father's Day, he did a make-up date of sorts.

To a standing ovation, a recovered Bucky, who'd focused intensely on both his physical and musical recovery, and his guitar returned to the stage at Birdland in Manhattan Sunday night, guitar in hand, to a standing ovation. Surround him were family, including bassist Martin Pizzarelli, and old friends like guitarist Ed Laub, saxophonist Ken Peplowski, pianist Konrad Paszkudzki, who works with John Pizzarelli's Quartet, and singer-pianist Barbara Carroll. John was not present, having had a gig in Chicago Sunday night.  Bucky had resumed playing in late May and early June.

He's booked for other dates this summer. His fans had set up an "Ovaltine for Bucky" get well campaign. Apparently that, and ample grit and determination on his part, got the job done, even more miraculous given his age. But Bucky's virtuosity and inner strength have always gone hand in hand. It was obvious when I met him in the summer of 2010 when he performed and taught at Duquesne University's then-annual Guitar and Bass event with Joe Negri. 

Additional coverage can be found at:

Times Square Chronicles.

North Jersey.com

For an extensive photo chronicle




Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.