PUBLISHED: 11:36 AM on Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Jazz giants to Juneau for Jazz & Classics

Fusion enthusiasts can start cleaning their ears in preparation for this year's Juneau Jazz & Classics - Legendary jazz guitar virtuoso Larry Coryell is coming, bringing with him drummer Paul Wertico and bass player Mark Egan, both former memberes of the Pat Metheny Group.

Larry Coryell, one of the world's most acknowledged jazz masters, is a jazz fusion pioneer and seasoned musical traveler between the worlds of rock, jazz, classical and Brazilian rhythms. His innovative driving lines and dazzling technique, crafty use of space and complex chord structures generate an intensity matched by his remarkable ability to improvise. All of Larry's work, both singly and collectively, highlights Larry's uncanny ability to revisit jazz standards and imbue them with new life and ideas. He brings to them his years of experience in playing, listening and learning and synthesizes them into something greater than the sum of their parts.

Larry Coryell has recorded more than 70 albums over the past 35 years and is hailed by his fans as of "the guitar gods" in the late 1970s and as a "truly Renaissance musician who excels at all styles of playing." The New York Times dubbed him as "the Godfather of Fusion."

It was in the late sixties and early seventies that Larry Coryell became one of the most in-demand guitarists in rock, jazz and all musical genres. During that time he was featured in sessions with the likes of Jimmy Webb, Charles Mingus, Billy Cobham and Chick Corea. He emerged from this period as a musical legend that merged rock, jazz, Eastern modes and scales and free-form improvisation with classical riffs.

Larry Coryell's Juneau performance will include seven time Grammy Award Winner, Paul Wertico, drums, and Mark Egan, bass - both former members of the Pat Metheny Group.

Mark Egan is considered to be one of the most respected and in-demand electric bassists on the music scene today. He has recorded with the likes of Sting, Arcadia, Joan Osborne; and has performed in movies and television shows as Aladdin, The Color of Money, A Chorus Line, NBC Sports and numerous award winning television commercials.

Self taught drummer Paul Wertico became a professional at the age of 15. His unique playing has been compared to that of "an impressionist painter," while at the same time he has been described as "an inspired madman" and a "restless innovator." Hailed as "one of the most musical and well-rounded drummers in music today", Wertico has appeared on acid jazz records, played big band charts, backed up touring acts such as the Drifters, and performed in the movie soundtrack "The Falcon and the Snowman."

The Larry Coryell Trio performance is sponsored by Aspen Hotels and KTOO.

Juneau Jazz & Classics is pleased to offer a very special gift to local musicians in the form of free clinics by Paul Wertico and Larry Coryell, Saturday, May 28th, 10:00 a.m. at the University of Alaska Southeast. These clinics, each two hours in length, will offer an up close and personal opportunity to learn and play with these two jazz-rock legends. Participants will leave these workshops with new techniques to enhance expression, endurance, tone and musicality.

The 19th Juneau Jazz & Classics, May 20-28, will include concerts held in a variety of venues such as the Juneau-Douglas High School Auditorium, three concert cruises, the intimate Westmark Baranof Hotel, the picturesque church, ANB Hall, Chapel by the Lake and the State Office Building's atrium. Festival highlights include jazz, classical and blues headliners in concert.

Juneau Jazz & Classics is made possible through grants, local businesses and contributions from individuals. Major support is provided by: Alaska Airlines, Alaska Marine Lines, Allen Marine Tours, BP, Aspen Hotels, ConocoPhillips, Juneau Empire, Royal Caribbean, University of Alaska Southeast, KTOO-FM, Princess Tours, Alaskan Brewing Company, Alaska Litho, Cruise West, The Ron Maas Family, Wells Fargo, First National Bank Alaska and ACS.

Tickets are at Hearthside Books and on the web at