JOHN PIZZARELLI has cultivated a winning career by singing classic standards and late-night ballads and by playing sublime and inventive guitar. Using greats like Nat "King" Cole and Frank Sinatra and the songs of writers like Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen as touchstones, Pizzarelli is among the prime revivalists of the Great American Songbook, bringing to his work the cool jazz flavor of his brilliant guitar playing.
Born on April 6, 1960 in Paterson, New Jersey, Pizzarelli has been playing guitar since age six, following in the tradition of his father, guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli. Hanging out with his father, John was exposed to all the great jazz music of the era, from Erroll Garner and Les Paul to Django Reinhardt. At 20, he began playing with his father. Then he went out on his own, and since 1992, the Pizzarelli Trio has toured extensively. In 1993, they received the honor of opening tour dates for Frank Sinatra and joined in the celebration for Sinatra's 80th birthday at Carnegie Hall.
John Pizzarelli's voice has continued to develop with time, displaying both charm and humor. He has recorded as a leader for Chesky, Stash, Novus and RCA, and in 1997 appeared in the Broadway production of Johnny Mercer songs called Dream.
For Pizzarelli, the comparison to the Nat "King" Cole Trio is the highest of compliments. "I've always said in my concerts that Nat "King" Cole is why I do what I do. I was fortunate enough to meet (Cole's widow) Maria Cole, and she mentioned that when she saw us on television, she said, 'My God, it's the Trio.' I couldn't believe she said that to me."
Pizzarelli's catalogue of albums also includes a touching cycle of torch ballads (After Hours), an album featuring some Pizzarelli originals along with classic jazz and swing (Our Love is Here to Stay) and a Christmas collection (Let's Share Christmas).
Telarc signed Pizzarelli at the end of 1999 and in February 2000 debuted Kisses in the Rain, a diverse set of standards and original tunes that showcases the spontaneity of his live performances within a studio setting. His second Telarc recording, the intimate and unabashedly romantic Let There Be Love, was released in November 2000.