Your ad here!

For a nominal sum your ad can be viewed by Arizona's connoissuers of culture! For info contact:

Jazz in AZ presents Nicole Pesce for ‘Jazz at Kaz’

By Joel R. Goldenthal

Nicole Pesce

Valley virtuoso pianist Nicole Pesce brings her extraordinary talent to Kazimierz World Wine Bar in Scottsdale for the monthly Jazz in AZ party from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15.

"I’m very excited about this special opportunity to perform for Jazz in AZ, and I'm looking forward to featuring some amazingly talented musicians," Pesce said. Her repertoire exceeds 12,000 memorized songs, stylistically ranging from classical, jazz, ragtime, blues, boogie woogie, Broadway, Latin and oldies to pop, opera, spiritual, country, rock and hip hop.

She began playing piano at the age of 7, studying with her father, music professor Nicholas Pesce Jr. Her father had worked with artists ranging from Liberace to Tristano. After only six months of lessons, Pesce had memorized more than 100 songs, and gave her first public performance at the Phoenix Country Club’s annual Christmas party. By age 10, she had committed over 500 songs to memory, and won first place n the Discovery Television National Competition. Shortly after, she landed a steady gig at the prestigious Phoenician Resort, becoming the youngest pianist ever to play for “high tea.”

At age 11, Pesce began composing music. When she was 14, she appeared on the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon with more than 60 million viewers. An extensive tour of the U.S. with Lewis followed, as well as numerous performances for stars including Debbie Reynolds, Rich Little, Buddy Greco, Pat Boone, Barbara Stanwyck and Ike Cole. Upon returning to her hometown of Phoenix, Pesce began a decade-long engagement at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

Currently Nicole Pesce is a fixture five nights a week at My Florist Café in downtown Phoenix, where she has a reputation for fielding requests for songs in every genre of music. Her outstanding prowess prompted Phoenix Magazine to state, “She’s like a human iPod!” Pesce said, “I consider Oscar Peterson to be my most treasured and prominent influence. He’ll always be my idol, but I constantly listen to and pull ideas from virtually every genre and instrument hoping to bring a new twist to old favorites."

Pesce expresses enthusiasm about the musicians joining her for gig, Jerry Donato, Adam Clark and Tom Williams. “Saxophonist Jerry Donato delivers fresh interpretations of songs both new and old. He’s a jazz giant with technical prowess and unmatched harmonic skills," she declared. "He also carries a deep understanding of lyrical content. Every note he plays contains a depth of feeling and a clarity that is breathtakingly beautiful.

“Drummer Adam Clark is so good it’s scary!” she continued. “He can execute the most challenging technical passages with ease, and at the same time he never loses sight of where the melody is. Adam is dynamic and swings in the truest sense of the word . . . he's a total rhythmic genius.

“Bassist Tom Williams is a pianist’s dream,” she said. “He is always ‘in the pocket’ with solid grooves and tasteful lines. He knows practically every tune I call, and he can follow me anywhere, plus he can always ‘bring me back’ if I go too far out on the limb!"

At this Jazz in AZ party performance, there will be plenty of straight-ahead acoustic jazz, but also some blues, Latin-jazz, funk, swing, be-bop, boogie woogie and, of course, a great ballad or two. Don't miss this sensational afternoon of “Jazz at Kaz.”

Kazimierz World Wine Bar is a casual venue with great food, wine and beverages, located at 7137 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale. Admission to the public is $10 (FREE for those who join Jazz in AZ at the party); Jazz In AZ member rates apply.