This year the community-wide, family-friendly festival of the arts celebration of New Year’s Eve- The First Night® Morris County is celebrating its 20th year. This landmark event will bring over 200 performing artists to 23 venues in and around the center of historic Morristown, New Jersey.
Jazz fans will thrill with performance by guitar “gods” –the legendary Bucky Pizzarelli, appearing as a Special Guest with the fabulous Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo.
(First a word about Bucky: Bucky Pizzarelli was born January 9, 1926 in Paterson, New Jersey, learning to play the guitar and banjo at a young age.
His extraordinary skill as a rhythm player places him in the company of the great rhythm players like Freddie Greene and Barry Galbraith. And he has brought forward the great chord solo tradition begun by George Van Eps and Dick McDonough. Like George Van Eps, Bucky Pizzarelli adopted the seven-string electric guitar (in fact, playing the Gretsch Van Eps model for many years). And, although this guitar is very popular today, for many years, Bucky Pizzarelli, was considered the only guitarist next to George Van Eps, to play the seven-string electric guitar exclusively.
In addition to his well known son John Pizzarelli….is son Martin, a professional musician, a bassist who has recorded both with his father and brother. His daughter Mary is a classical guitarist. Pizzarelli has also appeared on three albums of his daughter-in-law (John’s wife), Jessica Molaskey.
Today Bucky Pizzarelli resides in a home on the banks of the Saddle River in Saddle River, New Jersey with his wife Ruth. An avid amateur painter, Pizzarelli’s home is filled with his own artwork.)
Now the rest of the Bill: Relive the early glory days of the Rolling Stones with The Glimmer Twins who recreate the look and sound of young Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and their iconic rock ‘n roll band. Melanie Mitrano presents exquisitely soulful love songs of the Portuguese FADO tradition while The Mayhem Poets tear into contemporary life with wit, poetry and passion. Savor Bach, Latin music and jazz with the fabled Sweet Plantain Quartet (who’ve played with the likes of Alicia Keys, Smokey Robinson, John Fadis and Tito Puete) or the world renowned Nai Ni Chen Dance Company’s elegant costumes and choreography showcase traditional and contemporary Chinese dance.
The Travelling Literary Theatre shares touching and inspiring words and music from the World War II era and Dan Trueman, Princeton professor, shares his skills on the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle. Scott Joplin’s ragtime, magicians, jugglers, Irish step dancers, classical choral and chamber music, an original hip hop musical (with beat boxer), live reptiles, comedians, early music and a host of other old and new acts will round out the offerings.
Mix in 2 visual arts exhibits and 2 sets of fireworks and you have an unbeatable way to herald 2012! One inexpensive admission is the pass to every First Night event.
Visit www.firstnightmorris.com to purchase your admission ticket and to check on latest program updates.