Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Buzzelli, Nat 'King' Cole team up


Jazz artist Chris Buzzelli, left, sits in with Les Paul at the Iridium in New York in 2002. His trio performs Sunday in Fremont.


The standard six-guitar was a bit limiting for jazz artist Chris Buzzelli, so he's moved up to a seven-string model.

"It's got a low 'A' extra bass string," he said. "I love it because I do a lot of solo things, or duos with singers, and any time there's not a bass player it really adds a lot. It suits me pretty well"

On Sunday, he'll be performing the music of Nat "King" Cole in a trio with bassist Kevin Eikum and pianist Eric Dickey, both longtime members of the Toledo Jazz Orchestra.

"I like the music of the original Nat Cole Trio, there's just a lot of fun stuff," Buzzelli said in an interview this week.

He transcribed most of the Cole trio's recordings so that his trio can play arrangements that match the originals.

A native of Trenton, N.J., Buzzelli started playing guitar at age 9 in 1968 and began performing professionally and teaching guitar when he was in high school.

He majored in classical guitar at Trenton State College and earned a master's degree from North Texas State University.

In 1984, he joined the faculty of Bowling Green State University as a professor of music and director of the guitar program.

Buzzelli has released two albums, "What Goes Around" and "I Can Pick My Friends."

In addition, he has written seven instructional books for Mel Bay Publications, including books on the music of Tal Farlow and how to play seven-string guitar.

Among the jazz artists he has performed with are Joe Pass, Winston Walls, Randy Johnston, Mike Stern, and Mark Elf.

The Chris Buzzelli Trio will be in concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at Hayes Memorial United Methodist Church, 1441 Fangboner Rd., Fremont. The concert, part of Terra Community College's Music on Sunday series, is free. Information: 419-334-8400, extension 378.

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