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Larry Vuckovich

Yugoslavian-born, West Coast based jazz pianist Larry Vuckovich has recorded two highly successful CDs celebrating the film noir genre. His current CD, High Wall: Real Life Film Noir (2008), and Street Scene (2006), both recorded on his Tetrachord Music label, have placed in the Top 10 of the national JazzWeek charts. Street Scene hit #1 on XM Satellite Radio for six weeks. His interview with Marian McPartland on her Piano Jazz show was heard in May 2008 on NPR affiliated stations. The show was recorded during his successful 2007 East Coast tour that included a concert at Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca Cola and marked his first return there since her lived and performed there from 1985 to 1990.

A highly versatile jazz pianist, Larry has performed with top musicians from various jazz influences, including Anita O'Day, Joe Williams, Helen Humes, Cab Calloway, Red Norvo, Don Byas, Charlie Haden, Bobby Hutcherson, Larry Grenadier, Tom Harrell, and Charles McPherson. Accompanist for vocalist/ lyricist Jon Hendricks for many years, Larry has appeared at major festivals and clubs in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

While in Europe, Larry met and toured with Dexter Gordon and Philly Joe Jones. In the late '60s, he led the house trio for one of Germany's top jazz clubs, The Domicile, in Munich, where he backed such greats as Slide Hampton, Lucky Thompson, Pony Poindexter and Clifford Jordan. He returned to San Francisco and became house pianist at the famous Keystone Korner from 1978 until its closing in 1983, working with Arnett Cobb, Buddy Tate, Charles McPherson, Leon Thomas, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson.

Larry moved to New York in the 1980s. He appeared at major jazz clubs, including Village Vanguard, Blue Note, Bradley's, Zinno's, West End, and Hanratty's, working with Billy Higgins, Cecil Payne, Al Cohn, Curtis Fuller, Milt Hinton, and Mel Lewis and received top reviews from the New York Times, the Village Voice and The New Yorker. Gary Giddins in the Village Voice said he has "a book of piano gems that will keep you guessing." Jon S. Wilson of the New York Times praised Larry for "bringing with him an outlook and a collection of influences that set him apart from most pianists who are heard regularly in New York."

Larry now lives in Calistoga, in the wine country north of San Francisco with his wife and co-producer, singer-percussionist Sanna Craig. His son Alexi Vuckovich, is a classical piano student at San Francisco State University and his step-son is guitarist and recording artist Josh Workman.

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Radio & Podcasts

Bud Powell, Barry Harris, Les McCann & Larry Vuckovich

Read "Bud Powell, Barry Harris, Les McCann & Larry Vuckovich" reviewed by Joe Dimino

We dedicate the 838th Episode of Neon Jazz to a titan on the keys in Larry Vuckovich. In that vein, we cover a host of musicians and vignettes that make up his storied career. From musicians like Duke Ellington, Eddie Vinson, Barry Harris, Lester Young, Horace Parlan, Bud Powell and Jon Hendricks. We wrap it up by saying goodbye to Les McCann, who left us at the end of 2023. Dig this new hour of jazz, my friends.Playlist ...

Live Review

Scott Hamilton: Half Moon Bay, CA, September 4, 2011

Read "Scott Hamilton: Half Moon Bay, CA, September 4, 2011" reviewed by Bill Leikam

Scott Hamilton and the Larry Vuckovich QuintetDouglas Beach House aka Bach Dancing & Dynamite SocietyHalf Moon Bay, CaliforniaSeptember 4, 2011 The Douglas Beach House was honored with the appearance of tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton and pianist Larry Vuckovich's quintet-- a stellar band comprised of some of the best in jazz, including the great Paul Keller (bass), impeccably precise Chuck McPherson (drums) and Noel Jewkes (saxophones) tenor saxophone, and the Jackie Ryan vocals). Guest artist ...

Album Review

Larry Vuckovich: Somethin' Special

Read "Somethin' Special" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Pianist Larry Vuckovich made his recording debut as a leader with Blue Balkan (Inner City Records, 1980), although his playing career began in the '50s, after he arrived in the United States from his native Yugoslavia as a teenager. His recorded output as a leader has been relatively sparse--around a dozen albums--but he's carved out a successful career as a sideman, most notably in a 25-year relationship with singer Jon Hendricks. On Somethin' Special, Vuckovich and his ...

Live Review

Larry Vuckovich and the Euro Trash Band at the Douglas Beach House, Half Moon Bay, CA

Read "Larry Vuckovich  and the Euro Trash Band at the Douglas Beach House, Half Moon Bay, CA" reviewed by Bill Leikam

Larry Vuckovich's Euro Trash BandDouglas Beach HouseHalf Moon Bay, CASept. 6, 2009 World renowned pianist Larry Vuckovich (of Montenegro), bassist Buca Necak (Serbia), drummer Paul Van Wageningen (Holland), Latin percussionist Hector Lugo (Puerto Rico), and featured vocalist Valeriana Quevedo (USA) gathered at the Douglas Beach House on a Sunday afternoon as Vuckovich's Euro Trash Band. Trash they were not but they did bring to the Beach House variations on an ...

Album Review

Larry Vuckovich: High Wall: A Real Life Film Noir

Read "High Wall: A Real Life Film Noir" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Sequels are all too common in movies--so much so that rather than have distinctive titles, many simply add a sequential number to the original name. In music, however, a thematic sequel is rare. But the Larry Vuckovich Trio attempts to capitalize on the acclaimed Street Scene (Tetrachord, 2006) with High Wall: Real Life Film Noir. Vuckovich is a native of Kotor, Yugoslavia, who came to the United States at a time when jazz was one of the most ...

Album Review

Larry Vuckovich: Street Scene

Read "Street Scene" reviewed by Ken Dryden

Larry Vuckovich hasn't been recorded nearly often enough as a leader since his 1980 Inner City debut Blue Balkan, though the Balkan native's Street Scene is clearly one of his finest efforts. Although he had been using horns on recent projects, Vuckovich decided to put more focus on the piano, opting for what is primarily a trio date with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Akira Tana. Vuckovich takes a fresh look at several overlooked gems. His approach ...

Album Review

Larry Vuckovich: Street Scene

Read "Street Scene" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

From the vibrant history of New York's 52nd Street to the spirited boulevard performance of a New Orleans marching band, the street sounds of jazz have been a celebration of life. This heartfelt exuberance can also be heard on this release by West Coast pianist Larry Vuckovich. With an impressive musical career that has flourished since coming to San Francisco in 1951, Vuckovich has performed with countless artists and has produced a number of noteworthy releases, including ...

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Performance / Tour

Jazz At The Chimes Presents Larry Vuckovich And Jackie Ryan

Jazz At The Chimes Presents Larry Vuckovich And Jackie Ryan

Source: Mary D'Orazi

JAZZ AT THE CHIMES’ kicks off its 2013 season with Bay Area jazz luminaries Larry Vuckovich, Jackie Ryan and John Santos — Sunday, January 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm at Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland. The “Beyond Category Quartet” – led by the versatile pianist/composer Larry Vuckovich – includes percussionist and five-time Grammy nominee John Santos, Perry Thoorsell on acoustic bass and Leon Joyce on drums. Joining the quartet will be the internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist Jackie ...


Sonoma Valley Jazz Society 25th Annivesary 2013 Jazzalicious Calendar Concert

Sonoma Valley Jazz Society 25th Annivesary 2013 Jazzalicious Calendar Concert

Source: Sonoma Valley Jazz Society

Some of you may have seen the 2003 comedy film, Calendar Girls, based on the true story of a group of middle-aged British women who produced a nude calendar to raise money for leukemia research. I thought it would be a fantastic idea to create a calendar of semi-clad jazz musicians – we think it might be a first in jazz. So we convinced 13 of our finest Bay Area musicians to pose for each month of 2013. (Saxophonist Madaline ...



Larry Vuckovich on Hadley Caliman

Larry Vuckovich on Hadley Caliman

Source: Seattle Jazz Scene

If you haven¹t already heard, Hadley Caliman, 78, the great tenor saxophonist, colleague and friend of Dexter Gordon, died [Wednesday, September 8,] of liver cancer. He was one of the great jazz musicians, and a kind, gentle person, whom I deeply loved and respected. We were close friends since 1970, when I appeared on his first LP and he used two of my tunes. We reconnected over the years and toured together last year in the Pacific Northwest, the highlight ...


Music Industry

Keyboard Legend Larry Vuckovich Defends San Francisco Jazz History

Keyboard Legend Larry Vuckovich Defends San Francisco Jazz History

Source: All About Jazz

Glad to read someone of Larry Vuckovich's stature speak up about the San Francisco jazz-club scene back in the day. In a letter to the editor in the San Francisco Chronicle, the great jazz legend recalls a time when many of the most respected musicians in the world came through town. Although I'd heard about the old clubs, many had closed before my time-- but places like the Jazz Workshop, Basin Street West, and the Keystone Corner were still around ...



San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom decrees December 8, 2006, "Larry Vuckovich Day"

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom decrees December 8, 2006, "Larry Vuckovich Day"

Source: Rocket Words

Legendary pianist to celebrate 70th birthday with performances at Jazz at Pearl's Larry Vuckovich 70th Birthday Celebration at Jazz at Pearl's, 256 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, Friday-Sunday, December 8-10. Shows at 8:00 & 10:00. Doors open at 7:30. (San Francisco, CA) San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has named Friday, December 8th, 2006, “Larry Vuckovich Day" in San Francisco. By so doing, Mayor Newsom is honoring the 70th birthday of a legendary San Francisco-based jazz pianist, bandleader and concert presenter. Vuckovich ...

HIGH WALL: REAL LIFE FILM NOIR (Tetrachord Music, 2008)

" A MONSTER of a player who should be much more well known. (High Wall: Real Life Film Noir) is one of his best recordings to date" Gary Walker-Music Director and Morning Host of WBGO NJ/NY

" ... any discussion of the best jazz piano players in the world must now include Larry Vuckovich!" Brad Stone-Music Director and on air host KSJS-San Jose, CA

" ... soars to new heights" -Reese Erlich,Public Radio

"High Wall is of strong interest from start to finish. Highly recommended." 4 1/2 Stars -Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

"...a classy jazz piano date...elegant and earthy with a surprising amount of funk...a real winning date." -Chris Spector, Midwest Record

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Primary Instrument



Santa Rosa

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced

Clinic/Workshop Information

Clinic at IAJE Conference Discussing Styles of Various Bebop Pianists



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Somethin' Special

Tetrachord Music


Best Of Love Songs

OpenArt Productions


High Wall: A Real...

Tetrachord Music


Street Scene

Tetrachord Music


Street Scene

Tetrachord Music



Tetrachord Music



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