July 11, 2008

Back by Popular Demand: Antonio Pontarelli Returns to Spagettini’s, Saturday, July 12, 2008

Written by The Jazz Gypsy
Photos by The Jazz Gypsy

AntonioPontarelli.JPGSpaghettini Grill & Jazz Club
3005 Old Ranch Parkway,
Seal Beach, California 90740
Tel: 562-596-2199
www.spaghettini.com

Seal Beach’s finest jazz club and grill was electrified by a new young talent, artist Antonio Pontarelli. The 17 year old electric violinist, vocalist and composer is a fast rising star that will soon eclipse a host of other musicians young and old. Pontarelli who began playing the violin at the age of three has already amassed a list of awards as long as your arm, and has been featured on several magazine covers. These accomplishments are even more impressive when you consider that Pontarelli is still too young to even drive.

Although Pontarelli is “labeled” as a modern rock artist, he is skilled in playing all genres of music, including jazz. His opening set included "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Misty", "I’ve Got Rhythm", "Honeysuckle Rose", "Giant Steps", and "Straight No Chaser" but it was only a teaser of what was to come. Following a brief intermission, Pontarelli hit his musical stride playing from his jazz-rock-funk repertoire, which included a head banging rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s "All Along the Watchtower". Pontarelli turned the usually sophisticated and sedate dining patrons into an energetic and excited crowd that expressed their appreciation for being able to hear a fresh new musical voice that extends beyond what is normally heard on the smooth jazz circuit.

So exactly how does Pontarelli fit into this niche called smooth jazz? Consider the music of electric violinists’ Michael Ward, or Karen Briggs or guitarist Jeff Golub. And, actually, I’d like to see duet between Pontarelli and Golub……and I’m guessing by the reaction of the "Spag" patrons who saw Ponarelli last month that they’d enjoy a paring like that also.

For more information on Pontarelli, visit his website at www.antoniomusic.com or his myspace page at www.myspace.com/antoniopontarelli.


The Jazz Gypsy Tip: Mark your calendars for these upcoming performances at Spagettini's you don't want to miss:
7/13 - Chieli Minnucci - Wine and Jazz cd signing
7/17 - Steve Oliver
7/18 - Greg Adams
7/20 - Nils
7/31 - Tom Braxton
8/2 - Jackiem Joyner
8/15 - Marcus Johnson
8/21 - Althea Renee
8/23 - Incendio
8/29 - Greg Adams
8/31 - Poncho Sanchez

Posted by JazzGypsy at July 11, 2008 8:39 AM