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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » January 26, 2012
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Date With Guitar Great
January 26, 2012   
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A new round of the Jazz Era concert series features three concerts by Al Di Meola and his new jazz act. He will play Warsaw (March 12), Poznań (March 13) and £ód¼ (March 14).

“If Al Di Meola’s visits to Poland are an indicator of how revered and popular he is, then he is easily the most popular jazz musician in Poland,” said Dionizy Pi±tkowski, director of the Jazz Era series. “He stops by after being invited to prestigious festivals as well as to play gigs at small clubs and even corporate events.”

Meola is a highly respected guitarist whose career has spanned a wide range of emotions. From his early solo career, when albums like Land of the Midnight Sun, Elegant Gypsy and Casino were among the highest selling records of any instrumental artist at that time, Di Meola continues to make startling achievements in music.

Di Meola has revealed himself as a seasoned and gifted composer and a player of deepening grace and evocative lyricism. He has been continually cited by many prominent music critics around the world for his virtuosic guitar work and compositions.

Influenced greatly by jazz guitarist Larry Coryell, Di Meola had enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where his marathon practice sessions are still the stuff of legends. After a brief stint with keyboardist Barry Miles, Di Meola was tapped by Chick Corea in 1974, at the age of 19. His star quickly ascended. His awesome technique and musical depth can be traced back to the debut album with Chick Corea, Return to Forever in 1974. The year 1980 marked the triumph of the Super Guitar Trio with Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin. The Friday Night in San Francisco album became a landmark recording, resulting in wide acclaim and surpassing 2 million records in sales. The trio toured from 1980 through 1983 and reunited for a third CD, Guitar Trio, in 1996, followed by a world tour.

In early 1996, Di Meola formed a new trio with Jean Luc Ponty and Stanley Clarke, named The Rite of Strings. In 2000, he formed the Al Di Meola World Sinfonia 2000, featuring musicians from Argentina, Cuba and Israel.

Several recordings, countless awards, including three gold albums, and 6 million albums later, Di Meola is still challenging himself and his music. He has recorded or played with Chick Corea, Luciano Pavarotti, Paco De Lucia, Paul Simon, Phil Collins, Santana, Herbie Hancock, Steve Vai, Frank Zappa, Stevie Wonder and many more.

2011 brought the release of his new studio album, Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody, featuring guest performers such as bass guitarist Charlie Haden, Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, drummer Peter Erskine and keyboardist Barry Miles. Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody marks one more time that Di Meola has recorded a studio album together with accordion player Fausto Beccalosi, guitarist Peo Alfonsi and drummer Peter Kaszas. It is with these musicians that Di Meola is coming to the Jazz Era concerts.

Tickets at www.ticketpro.pl, www.eventim.pl and www.ebilet.pl
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