Jazz Guitarist Jackie King Makes Rare East Coast Appearances With Concerts & Clinics In February


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Over the past four decades, guitar virtuoso Jackie King has played with some of America's greatest musical artists, providing sterling accompaniment on various occasions for the likes of Ray Charles, Tony Bennett and Big Joe Turner, and matching his six-string skills on stage with Jerry Garcia, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Johnson. But where King has really earned his sizable reputation as a brilliant and fleet-fingered improviser has been in the realm of jazz, and since the early 1970s, he has spent a considerable amount of time working with legends like Chet Baker, Sonny Stitt, Herb Ellis and Willie Nelson, Jimmy Witherspoon.

He brings his inimitable guitar prowess to the East Coast for a rare series of performances and seminars in February. As jazz guitarist-composer-educator-journalist-label head, Jackie King has done it all in the jazz business. Playing professionally from the age of 12, King made a name for himself in the clubs and honky-tonks of his native San Antonio before heading West in 1968 to the San Francisco Bay area with long-time pal and Texas rock legend Doug Sahm. Here, King formed Shades of Joy a fusion jazz-rock ensemble that recorded for Mercury Records where King became a leading session guitarist.

In addition to touring with Baker, Stitt and Witherspoon among others, King taught at the Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles. Returning to San Antonio in 1978, King ran the Southwest Guitar Conservatory where he provided students with a grounding in jazz technique utilizing the talents of some of the finest guitarists around Herb Ellis among them. He also gigged as part of an illustrious guitar trio with Ellis and jazz legend Lenny Breau and released an acclaimed instruction video as part of Arlen Roth's “Hot Licks" series.

Since 1990, King has split his time between Texas and San Francisco performing regularly with his jazz quintet and with the Tejano jazz band The West Side Horns. The multi-talented jazzer has moonlighted as a jazz disc jockey, online journalist (his column appears regularly on AllAboutJazz.com), clinician and heads the Indigo Moon label with his wife and producer Teri Harllee. In addition to his solo recordings, Skylight (Mercury) and Moon Magic (Indigo Moon/Freefalls), he recorded Angel Eyes (Columbia) in collaboration with old friend Willie Nelson in the mid-80s, touring Japan and lending his talents and band to The Willie Nelson Special featuring Ray Charles, originally broadcast on PBS and recently released on DVD.

For the last three years, King performed and toured steadily with Nelson. On The Gypsy (Indigo Moon/Freefalls), Jackie's latest album, his jazz mastery comes to the fore. The cd features Nelson's inimitable vocals and guitar licks on half of the disc's ten tracks. Described by King as “a love letter to the deep-rooted connection between jazz and country music," the album finds the guitarist within the cozy yet inspiring confines of his regular quintet as together they nimbly swing through a set of choice standards dear to the leader's heart. As Nat Hentoff writes in his liner notes to The Gypsy: “Listening to the music here is like being present at an after-hours session among friends who share a mutual interest."

Recently Willie Nelson added lyrics to a set of Jackie's haunting changes which became the title cut to Willie's latest hit CD, The Great Divide. The song has become a staple of Nelson's sold-out concerts.

In addition to his East Coast tour in early 2003, King has recently penned an instruction book, Getting Into Jazz Guitar, (published by Mel Bay, Co.) - one of a series he is writing for the renowned publisher.

He is also putting the finishing touches on a new CD, Star Dreams, which features jazz piano legend Marian McPartland and her trio gracing four tracks. King met McPartland while guesting alongside Willie on her long-standing NPR show, “Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz," and has since recorded a duet with Marian which is featured on her new Christmas album, An NPR Jazz Christmas with Marian McPartland and Friends, 2. In November 2002, King sat in with McPartland's trio at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA where their brilliant interplay delighted her devoted audience and received a standing ovation. “Marian McPartland has been a major force in jazz for over 50 years," King enthused. “The character and integrity of her musical genius places her among the jazz greats."

Do not miss this long awaited East Coast swing by one of jazz guitar's greatest practitioners...Jackie King.

“Jackie King plays heads above most other guitarists." --- Willie Nelson

“King is a masterful technician . . . he blends melodic inspiration with harmonic sophistication. -- Amazon.com

“Jackie's style represents a rich cross - pollination of jazz -- Hank Garland and Charlie Parker are notable influences -- country and pop standards." --- 20th Century Guitar

For full bio check out www.jackieking.com.


February 1: 8-10pm & February 2: 3-6pm - Mt. Pleasant, PA - Gobblers: Jackie King w/ special guest Richie Cole, Gobblers Restaurant , Route 32 and Point Pleasant Pike, Point
Pleasant; ph. 610.297-8988 (gobblersrestaurant.com)

February 3 - New York, NY - sitting in with Les Paul @ the Iridium Jazz Club
1650 Broadway, 51st Street, ph. 212.582.2121 ( iridiumjazzclub.com )

February 4 - Newtown, Pennsylvania - Bucks County Community College - seminar - 1 to 2:30 pm - 275 Swamp Road, ph. 215-968-8000

February 5 - Philadelphia, PA - University of the Arts - seminar - 1 to 2 pm
320 South Broad Street on the Avenue of the Arts - ( uarts.edu )

February 6 - West Hartford, Connecticut - Szechuan Tokyo Restaurant, 1245 New Britain Ave.- 7:30 to 10:30 pm
Presented by Hartford Jazz Society - ph. 860.561.0180 or e-mail to Paul Lewis [email protected]

February 7 - Boston, MA - Berklee School of Music - seminar 1 to 2 pm
Room 1-A, 1st Floor, 1140 Boylston Street For info: Rick Peckham 617-747-2511

February 8 - Portland, Maine - Maine Jazz Alliance presents Jackie King at
The Space Gallery, 538 Congress Street, ph. 207.828.5600
Guitar clinic @ 2 to 4 pm ($10.) & concert @ 8 to 11 pm ($12)
Call the Maine Jazz Alliance at 207-373-0306.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
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