Guitar legend Coryell at the Telluride Jazz Celebration

Guitar legend Coryell at the Telluride Jazz Celebration

[click “Play” to listen to Larry Coryell’s conversation with Susan]

Coryell Six years ago guitar legend Larry Coryell was honored at the 28th annual Telluride Jazz Celebration, where he performed with drummer Lenny White and bassist Mark Egan. Coryell returns to the 34th annual Telluride Jazz Celebration, August 5 – August 8, to time to honor a friend, former Telluride Jazz Celebration board member Chris Bou, who died in May 2009.

To tribute Bou, Coryell returns with Egan, changing the recipe on his aural elixir just a little bit with two special guests, Paul Wertico replacing White on drums, and saxophonist Karl Denson. The quartet is scheduled to perform Sunday, August 8, 3:40 – 4:50 p.m. on the Toshiko Akiyoshi Town Park Stage.

“Larry has style, awesome technique, a sharp wit and big charisma,” said Telluride Jazz Celebration impresario Paul Machado of his friend and supporter.

Machado also encouraged Coryell to initiate and program an enduring event in honor of Bou, once a passionate lover of guitar music.The idea: feature guitarists and guitar-related performers, including some of Bou’s favorites. On that list are Jeff Beck, Steve Ray Vaughn, John Scofield, Alan Holdsworth, John McLaughlin, Jimi Hendrix – and Larry Coryell.

“We’ll see how this first one goes in terms of making the right kind of impact for Telluride,” said Coryell. “If this feels good and Festival honchos are inspired, I would be happy to take responsibility for bringing in some good people for a special annual slot dedicated to Chris’ memory.”

Coryell’s nonstop career remains robust after 50 years give or take. And his name has become synonymous with jazz guitar although his talents are not limited to the genre. (He recently wrote four extended pieces for guitar and a string quartet the urging of the new Mrs. Coryell, a Mozart nut.)

Throughout the decades, Coryell has traveled the world – he was recently honored as Outstanding Artist at the Nis Festival in Serbia –  and played alongside other legends, including Jimi Hendrix, John Scofield, David Sanborn, Sonny Rollins, Maynard Ferguson, Stephane Grapelli, Chick Corea, and Charles Mingus. Recent projects include two new recordings: a duet record with the virtuosic pianist Kenny Drew, Jr. , a mix of standards and originals by both players, and a second project based on a piece of wisdom Coryell gleaned from his Buddhist practice: a human revolution in just a single individual can change the destiny of mankind. That work includes five compositions for and about the civil rights movement, most notably Dr. Martin Luther King.

To learn more straight from the horse’s mouth about his career, his life and the 2010 Telluride Jazz Celebration, click the “play” button and listen to Coryell’s interview.
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