LEWISBURG, W.Va. (Hinton News) – Carnegie Hall’s Mainstage Performance Series will continue with the John Jorgenson Quintet Friday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. Guests are invited to come early for the free Mainstage Lounge Preshow Reception from 6:30-7:15 p.m. in the Board Room. A cash bar and snacks will be available.
John Jorgenson is perhaps best known for his guitar work with bands such as the Desert Rose Band and The Hellecasters. Jorgenson is also proficient in the mandolin, mandocello, Dobro, pedal steel, piano, upright bass, clarinet, bassoon and saxophone. He is known for his blistering guitar and mandolin licks and mastery of a broad musical palette, earning a reputation as a world-class musician, as evidenced by his collaborations with Earl Scruggs, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Bob Dylan and many others.
First coming to national attention in the mid-’80s as co-founder of successful country-rock act The Desert Rose Band, an eclectic array of artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Bob Seger and Barbra Streisand were drawn to add Jorgenson’s artistry to their own recordings. While a member of the Desert Rose Band, Jorgenson won the Academy of Country Music’s “Guitarist of the Year” award two consecutive years.
In the ‘90s, The Hellecasters gave audiences a chance to experience Jorgenson’s fretboard fireworks in an unrestrained venue, and the trio’s three original albums remain favorites of guitarists everywhere. Having been a fan of the Desert Rose Band, Elton John invited Jorgenson to join his band in 1994 for an 18-month tour that stretched into a six-year stint of touring, recording and TV appearances with the British superstar, in addition to collaborations with other artists including Sting and Billy Joel.
2010 marked the 100th birthday of the great gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. Since discovering Reinhardt in 1979, Jorgenson has become “the U.S. Ambassador of Gypsy Jazz” which is quite an honor given the distinctly European slant of the music’s heritage. Over the years Jorgenson has continued to honor the legacy of Reinhardt by bringing his unique brand of Gypsy Jazz to the masses with his John Jorgenson Quintet.
At performances of the John Jorgenson Quintet, audiences are awestruck by not only Jorgenson’s skillful guitar playing, but the solo clarinet and bouzouki as well.