Jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli has died from coronavirus

Pizzarelli was 94.

Bucky Pizzarelli

Image: David Redfern / Getty

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Jazz guitarist John “Bucky” Pizzarelli has died from coronavirus at the age of 94. He passed away this Wednesday (1 April) at his home in New Jersey.

Speaking to The New York Times, Pizzarelli’s son, guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli, said the cause was the coronavirus. He went on to say “There will be some kind of tribute as soon as we can all get within 6 feet of each other” He reportedly tested positive on saturday.

Pizzarelli’s career spanned across eight decades, during which he appeared on hundreds of records, and established a reputation for his subtle rhythm playing and melodic solos, as well as his preference for 7-stringed guitars.

During the ‘50s and ‘60s, he was a highly-sought after session player. After this, he formed a jazz duo with fellow guitarist George Barnes until the pair split in 1972. He would play with countless other musicians throughout the seventies, but it was in 1980 when he began to collaborate with his then-20-year-old son. He told an interviewer in 1997: “that’s where he got his baptism of fire. With me giving him dirty looks when he played a wrong chord.”

Pizzarelli would continue to record with his family, including his son Martin Pizzarelli and John Pizzarelli’s wife, Jessica Molaskey.

COVID-19 has also sadly claimed the lives of country star Joe Diffie and Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Shlesinger.

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