Double Bassist Martin Pizzarelli’s 30-plus year career has taken him across the Globe a few times over, where he has shared the stage with established jazz legends and rising stars alike. Throughout it all, a love and dedication to The Great American Songbook was cemented into place.
If music were learned through osmosis, Martin Pizzarelli would be a virtuoso of several instruments. The son of guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, Martin grew up in a house filled with music and musicians. Whether it was playing ping-pong in the basement with Zoot Sims, sharing Ovaltine with Slam Stewart or just hanging with Benny Goodman, these musicians were a part of the family.
In the summer of 1977, Martin accompanied his parents to the Jazz Festival in Nice, France where Bucky was performing with the legends of the day. It was here that Martin would carry Sonny Stitt’s horn from stage to stage and meet Dave Brubeck, Clark Terry, Woody Herman, Stéphane Grappelli, Chuck Berry and BB King among so many others. The big picture was coming into focus.
Martin was 14-years old when he picked-up the electric bass for the first time at the insistence of his brother John, who needed someone to fill-in for his garage band. Soon he was playing garage band gigs while being schooled in all things jazz by his father. Eventually, electric bass yielded to double bass and at the age of 16, a career was born when he played his first professional gig alongside Bucky at The New School in New York City, NY with Al and Joe Cohn.
As bassist for the John Pizzarelli Trio, Martin performed with Dave Brubeck at Carnegie Hall, he opened for Frank Sinatra on a European tour and he's shared the stage with Monty Alexander, Jeff Hamilton, Duduka de Fonseca, Ray Kennedy, Larry Fuller, Daniel Jobim, Mike Renzi and Russ Kassoff just to name a very few. He’s made appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Melrose Place and performed in the movie,“The Out of Towners” and on the soundtracks of “Forget Paris,” “Ready to Wear” and “Two-Family House." He was also a part of a long-runnning advertising campaign for Foxwoods Casino.
Now fronting his own band, Martin Pizzarelli has teamed with Hyuna Park on piano, Grammy Award-winning clarinetist/saxophonist Linus Wyrsch and guitarist Félix Lemerle for a tight, solidly-swinging show. The next journey in a lifetime commitment to jazz has begun.