John Pizzarelli and Grover Kemble Delight Shanghai Jazz Crowd

Posted by Michael Mueller on September 28, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Jazz guitarist and entertainer John Pizzarelli brought his trio to Madison, New Jersey, last night (9/27), to help the Shanghai Jazz supper/music club celebrate their birthday, and, well, the delicious Three Chili Chicken wasn't the only thing that was hot! Along with the familiar rhythm section of brother Martin Pizzarelli on bass and Tony Tedesco on drums, Pizzarelli welcomed his old friend and former musical partner Grover Kemble (guitar/vocals) for a delightful set of diverse jazz interpretations.

Wielding a thin-body electrified nylon-string acoustic, Kemble's crisp lines and strong, deep tenor offered the perfect complement to Pizzarelli's traditional jazz box and lighter vocal tones. For much of the set, Pizzarelli abdicated to his guest, resulting in a more blues- and pop-driven set that included the Calypso beats of Harry Belafonte's "Shame and Scandal" (arguably the highlight of the set, judging by audience reaction), the Creole sounds of Elvis Presley's "Crawfish," and fabulous interpretations by both Kemble and Pizzarelli of several Beatles tracks including "Things We Said Today," "No Reply," "And I Love Her," and "Can't Buy Me Love."

John Pizzarelli jazz guitar video lessons

If you're in the Central/North Jersey area or even New York City, Pizzarelli is performing again at Shanghai Jazz tonight, with his father, the legendary jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. Visit for more info. For all the latest news and tour dates on John Pizzarelli, visit

Here's video of Pizzarelli and Kemble performing "Headed out to Vera's" (which they did last night as well) at Carnegie Hall in 2005. The song is a tribute to Pizzarelli's Aunt Vera, who often fed Pizzarelli and Kemble in their early days of performing around North Jersey.


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