Bucky Pizzarelli will make a special appearance on the national television special, “An American Christmas: with PJ Rasmussen and the Boardwalk Jazz Band.” The one-hour special features fresh and exciting renditions of America’s most beloved Christmas music along with new and original holiday tunes.
The show will air between Thanksgiving and New Year’s on more than 160 television stations from coast to coast. It is scheduled to air in the Tri-state area on WCBS TV – Channel 2 on Christmas Day at Noon EST. For a full list of stations and times, click here.
Pizzarelli will sit in with the rhythm section to perform a new tune written specifically for this occasion. Capturing the New Year’s spirit of reflection, “I’ll Remember It” is about a young man giving thanks to his mentor. “I think it’s important for all of us to acknowledge and remember the heroes of our life,” says the young composer. “I’m so lucky that Bucky was willing to spend time with me and help me in so many ways. It’s something I will always cherish.”
Pizzarelli has performed with Rasmussen before, both at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City and at the Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park.
Joining PJ is a stellar cast of young musicians (most of whom are under 30 years of age), including:
Charlie Dougherty (Conductor); Kate Victor, April May Webb (of S.O.A.R.), Candice Reyes (Featured Vocalists); Dave Pollack, Abel Mireles, Mercedes Beckman, Eric Neveloff, Andrew Hadro (Saxophones); James Borowski, Collin Banks, Peter Nelson, Seth Weaver (Trombones); Ben Hankle, Paul Tafoya, Rich Polatchek, Will Caviness (Trumpets); Billy Test (Piano); Daseul Kim (Bass); and Joe Spinelli (Drums).
“An American Christmas” is being syndicated nationally by Telco Productions of Santa Monica, California.
About PJ Rasmussen:
“Superb— tremendous playing.”— Mulgrew Miller
“A damn good guitarist.” — Bucky Pizzarelli
“Clapton Meets Blue Note” — Jazz Weekly
“Rasmussen’s arranging is stellar, his horn charts precise and engaging” — All About Jazz
PJ Rasmussen and the Boardwalk Jazz Band is New York’s only 21-piece jazz band with four vocalists playing almost all original music.
Although still in his mid 20’s, PJ Rasmussen (@PJRasmussenJazz) has headlined a national TV special with special guest Bucky Pizzarelli, been featured on the cover of Hot House Jazz Magazine, headlined at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York, and landed two albums on the jazz charts. He believes jazz is music that should make the heart race, the blood pump, and the feet move. Towards that end, Rasmussen founded Boardwalk Jazz, a show built on the simple belief that jazz is music anyone can love.
Born in 1990, Rasmussen entered a world where jazz seemed reserved more for intellectuals than real people. Picking up the guitar at age 10, he spent more time learning Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton than working his way through the Real Book. While his passion for rock and blues never waned, his eclectic taste and exploratory spirit never stopped looking for new music to learn; soon enough he was practicing Joe Pass and Yardbird alongside Slowhand, under the watchful eye of Andrew Light. A former student of jazz legend Bucky Pizzarelli, Andrew introduced PJ to the wide world of jazz. Rasmussen never looked back, studying Jazz Performance at William Paterson University. During his time there, Rasmussen studied with guitar masters Paul Meyers and Gene Bertoncini. It was also during his time in school that Rasmussen met, studied, and later performed with mentor Bucky Pizzarelli.
In his three short years since bursting onto the jazz scene with “Adventures and Flight” and his follow up top 20 album “Another Adventure,” PJ Rasmussen has garnered exceptional praise. JazzTimes named Adventures in Flight “one of the best debut releases of 2013,” and All About Jazz declares: “Rasmussen’s arranging is stellar, his horn charts precise and engaging.” AXS named “Another Adventure” one of the top albums to introduce jazz to non-jazz fans, calling the music “approachable, credible, and delightful.”