Somethin' Special (2011) Somethin' Special creates a strong 'Blue Note' flavor of soulful, swinging jazz. The selections reflect the pianist's important early influences, honoring the jazz masters who inspired him when he first began playing jazz.Read more →
High Wall Real Life Film Noir (2008) High Wall: Real Life Film Noir is the sequel to the Larry Vuckovich Street Scene, which placed #1 on XM Satellite Radio for six weeks and hit the Top 10 of JazzWeek and college radio charts.Read more →
Street Scene (2006) Street Scene distills a lifetime journey through jazz of a versatile pianist who has performed with many jazz giants of yesterday and today. Larry Vuckovich has worked with the likes of Dexter Gordon, Philly Joe Jones, Tom Harrell, Bobby Hutcherson, Charlie Haden, Charles McPherson and others.Read more →
Welcome to the online home of Larry Vuckovich
Called by Barry Harris "one of the premier west coast pianists." You can hear selections from Larry's latest CDs, Somethin' Special, High Wall, Street Scene, Reunion, Blue Balkan", and Young At Heart", check out photos, see Larry's scheduled appearances, and more. Enjoy the hard-swinging, post-bop, contemporary jazz and world music from this exceptional musician's site. Listen to Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz Show featuring Larry. While in New York Larry also performed at the Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Coca-Cola Club. Also check out the Chuck Sher's newly released "European Real Book" featuring "the best in contemporary jazz from Europe" which includes two of Larry Vuckovich's originals and compositions from other famous musicians such as Toots Thielmans, Joe Zawinul, Django Reinhardt, Victor Feldman and others. Lastly, listen to audio samples of many of Larry's releases!
Larry Vuckovich Hits #2 on Swiss National Radio Jazz Popularity Poll
Swiss National Radio jazz listeners voted Larry Vuckovich's Beyond Category music at #2 on it's Popularity Poll for the week of October 13–20, 2010. The highly creative, versatile jazz pianist placed just behind the fans' #1 favorite, the renowned Jeff Hamilton Trio. View the poll →
Upcoming Concerts & Events
October 23, Sunday
Larry Vuckovich Beyond Category Duo featuring Mike Hallesy and special guest saxophonist Jaroslav Olejar @ Café Pink House in Saratoga, CA.
For this performance Larry Vuckovich will perform in a duo format with the swinging bassist Mike Hallesy. Special guest saxophonist Jaroslav Olejar will perform some hip selections from the repertoire of Sonny Clark, Kenny Dorham, Joe Henderson & John Coltrane. Larry’s Beyond Category repertoire covers a diverse program of American Standard Classics (Gershwin, Ellington, Porter), Jazz styles of various eras, World Music – Balkan/Gypsy – Roma, Latin/Brazilian/Tango Jazz & Classical Music influences. Larry’s looking forward to having a bassist thus making this presentation going beyond solo adding more swinging and hard bop elements, plus Latin resulting in a fuller sounding showcase. Pianist Larry Vuckovich came to San Francisco in 1951 as a teenager from Montenegro – former Yugoslavia. He was fortunate to experience the heyday of jazz of which the '50s decade had some of the richest and most diverse developments happening. He heard such great big bands as Harry James, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman as well as small groups as Miles Davis, MJQ, Bill Evans, Red Garland, Sonny Rollins, just to name a few. He brings to his jazz format all the impressions he absorbed from that period and more which developed later throughout his performances with the masters Mel Torme, Jon Hendricks, Dexter Gordon, Philly Joe Jones, Bobby Hutcherson, Charlie Haden, Charles McPherson, Tom Harrell & more. He was fortunate to study classical piano at SF State with the noted Russian classical master pianist Vladimir Brenner. Larry Vuckovich is recognized for his piano touch where he incorporates some European classical themes fused with jazz. Larry is also recognized as a pioneer in the U.S. for combining the Balkan Folk influences with Jazz which is found on his landmark recording "Blue Balkan" featuring Bobby Hutcherson. We hope you will join us for a unique duo performance.
Venue: Café Pink House 14577 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070
Time: 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Information: (408) 647-2273
Featuring: Larry Vuckovich, piano / Mike Hallesy, bass / Special guest: Jaroslav Olejar, saxophone
October 27th, Thursday
Music of Benny Goodman plus a touch of Vince Guaraldi @ Oakmont Village, Santa Rosa, CA
Larry Vuckovich’s Benny Goodman Tribute Sextet has been invited back for a repeat performance. They will perform stimulating selections from the BG 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. The program will include selections of BG’s small groups, the trio with pianist Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa, plus his quartet featuring the vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. An important fact: Major League Baseball became racially integrated in the mid-40s. However, Benny Goodman integrated his musical groups 10 years prior to this and thus made a strong statement which was followed by other bands. Larry Vuckovich has chosen an outstanding ensemble for this concert with Noel Jewkes, doing the role of Benny Goodman; Jeff Massanari paying tribute to Charlie Christian and vibraphonist Tommy Kesecker will fill the role of Lionel Hampton. The swinging rhythm section of Jeff Chambers and Leon Joyce is perfect for this music. These musicians have performed with famous bands throughout the US and Europe. Don’t miss this swinging affair! Also we will do some of Vince Guaraldi’s popular hits such as Cast Your Fate To The Wind, Ginza Samba, Days Of Wine And Roses, just to name a few. This is a rich program covering two different eras in jazz, both swinging while stylistically different.
Venue: Berger Center 6575 Oakmont Drive, Santa Rosa, CA
Admission: $20 (non-Oakmont residents need to contact Larry Vuckovich at 707-299-9964)
Time: 3:00 - 5:00 PM
Featuring: Noel Jewkes, clarinet / Larry Vuckovich, piano / Tommy Kesecker, vibes / Jeff Massanari, guitar / Jeff Chambers, bass / Leon Joyce, drums
October 30, Sunday
TO SWING OR NOT TO SWING! - Utmost Importance of Eighth Notes Playing and Phrasing, plus Melodic Beauty in Jazz with Larry Vuckovich @ California Jazz Conservatory – The JAZZSCHOOL
Master jazz pianist and long-time veteran of the Bay Area jazz scene Larry Vuckovich returns to the CJC to share this key, important concept of eighth notes phrasing, going back to the swing era, and on through the bebop and post bop eras. Towards the end of the swing era, it was Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell, who developed the sophisticated concept of eighth notes phrasing and brought it to the forefront. This is a valuable presentation for all instrumentalists and in particular for bassists and drummers. This eighth note concept is masterfully exemplified by two living jazz legends: Barry Harris and Charles McPherson – I'm proud to say that I have learned a lot from these greats, and am in contact with them regularly.
Charlie Parker, the originator and recognized genius of developing the bebop style in jazz – learned from Lester Young's concept of loose and relaxed phrasing, brought the eighth note sophisticated phrasing to its height. Dizzy and Bud Powell added their own elements, inspired by Bird and influenced a number of instrumental masters, including Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Al Haig, Hank Jones, Walter Bishop Jr., Kenny Drew, Barry Harris, Sonny Clark, Tommy Flanagan, John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Kenny Dorham and more. This important eighth note phrasing concept reached its height under these great masters, and has never been surpassed. Understanding the accentuation and the syncopation of the eighth notes, results in knowing that some of the accents are stronger on some notes, then on other notes. Added to this is the important element of having spaces/rests in between notes. All of these mentioned important points are the key, whether a musician swings or not!. Listening and learning from these masters about these intricacies will be demonstrated at this workshop by Larry Vuckovich at the piano, and also by listening to the original recordings of the masters. Besides jazz lovers who come to my workshops and love learning about jazz history, this workshop is highly recommended to all musicians playing different instruments because the learning process of this art form is never ending – there is always room for more knowledge. Come to the workshop and improve your swing! Please note: this workshop is highly recommended, not only for pianists and other instrumentalists, which in particular includes the rhythm players: bassists and drummers . In addition to the eighth notes phrasing concept, Larry will also highlight the melodic beauty in jazz by giving samples on the piano and presenting examples of melodic greats such as Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Barry Harris, Bill Evans, Tommy Flanagan, Stan Getz, Kenny Dorham & more.
Venue: California Jazz Conservatory 2087 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA
Admission: Advance $30 - Day of Workshop $45
Time: 12:00 PM (Noon) – 3:00 PM
Information: (510) 845-5373
Featuring: Larry Vuckovich, piano