Gene Bertoncini – The Most Legendary Jazz Music Guitar Personality Ever!
February 9, 2017
Over the decades, mainstream jazz guitarist Gene Bertoncini has solidly established himself as one of the most sophisticated and versatile masters of the plectrum steel string jazz guitar and fingerstyle nylon string traditional classical guitar! With elegance and ease, he bridges jazz, classical, pop, and bossa nova styles – integrating his own spontaneous and tasteful jazz guitar music improvisations together along the way. He has attained the highest critical acclaim for his artistry on both the classical and electrical guitar! Gene was fortunate enough to have studied guitar when he was younger with jazz guitar masters Johnny Smith and Chuck Wayne who had published their own collection books of jazz guitar tabs and jazz guitar tablatures. . Bertoncini’s music roots go back to his early years in the Bronx where he grew up in a house filled with tunes. His love affair with the guitar commenced when he was seven years old and by the time he was 16 he was playing on New York television broadcasts. His career had an unusual turn once he decided to fulfill an additional long standing interest and earned a degree in architecture at Notre Dame. He was swiftly swept into the musical scene at the college and the first thing he did soon after getting his degree was to perform opposite Carmen McRae in Chicago. He came back to New York to work with vibraphonist Mike Manieri and after that with a quintet led by drummer Buddy Rich. He describes his architectural experience as something that offers his jazz guitar compositions their finely wrought form and style. He wins continual praise for the outstanding form of his solo jazz guitar pieces and improvisations that serve as a vehicle for his virtuoso pickstyle and fingerstyle guitar technique. Gene Bertoncini has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Benny Goodman Sextet, singers Tony Bennett, Morgana King, Lena Horne, Vic Damone, and Edye Gorme, jazzmen Buddy Rich, Wayne Shorter, Hubert Laws, Clark Terry, Paul Desmond, and Paul Winter, as well as arranger/composers Burt Bacharach, Lalo Schifrin, and Michel LeGrand among others! He worked regularly on the Merve Griffin and Johnny Carson TV shows and has been one of the most prolific and well-liked studio guitar performers in New York City. In the late 1970s and the early eighties Gene performed with upright jazz bassist Michael Moore in a duo which The New York Times identified as “one of the best pairings of jazz strings”. They recorded various albums with each other that are thought of by many to be some of the most unbelievable jazz guitar recordings ever released. Bertoncini’s instructing credits include the Eastman School of Music where he regularly works and conducts summertime workshops for jazz guitar performers, the New England Conservatory, New York University, and the Banff School of Fine Arts. He has been an extremely sought after guest clinician in colleges and universities throughout the country. Luckily for aspiring guitarists, Gene has gone on to publish several instructional jazz guitar tab books and DVD programs that explain his harmonic arranging concepts and techniques.