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Currently, America’s foremost and highly respected art form, jazz music, has less of a presence. The other forms of American pop music, which are also influenced by jazz, have attained more visibility in both the concert arenas, and throughout the general media.

While there is still some good jazz activity in the wine country, and in the North Bay, the frequency of concerts and presentations of true authentic jazz, has diminished. This letter is hoping to attract a person who loves this music and is in a well-to-do position that can help expand and bring more frequent concerts to the wine country, the North Bay, and other areas of the San Francisco Bay.

Just as a top chef knows how to combine ingredients and create a special dish, I have the knowledge and know-how to do this musically – placing great musicians in various combinations, creating attractive themes and giving the audience soulful, memorable experience with a lasting impression.

The wide-ranging styles of jazz that I would present in concert, would basically be unlimited in styles, satisfying many various tastes. That would include swinging jazz, contemporary jazz, Latin jazz, Brazilian-style jazz, down-home blues and gospel music, World Music combined with jazz, funky rhythms that incorporate contemporary elements which would also appeal to a wide range of jazz audiences. This wide-ranging program is basically beyond categorization,and it’s a win-win situation. The ensembles I have in mind would include trios, quartets, quintets – medium-size ensembles and also an All-Star Bay Area big band that would feature world-class vocalists.

I am happy to tell you that throughout the many years, which includes my performances and my recordings, I have received a high degree of recognition not only here in the Bay Area, but throughout North America and Europe. Visit http://larryvuckovich.com/ to find out more.

While it’s a bit awkward writing about oneself, I have also been recognized as one of the San Francisco jazz legends, as noted at the Fillmore Heritage Jazz Center. My LPs and CDs have received top critical acclaim from many major publications as the New York Times, Village Voice, Esquire, JazzTimes, Downbeat, Toronto Globe & Mail, plus many more. In addition, my associations which span more than six decades with an amazing array of jazz greats – jazz masters with whom I performed, toured and recorded include Dexter Gordon, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Cab Calloway, Charles McPherson, Bobby McFerrin, and Charlie Haden, to name just a few.

Throughout my 60+ years of performing, I have gained and learned much from being associated with these jazz masters, including the Bay Area’s own Vince Guaraldi. I’m honored to have been Vince’s only student and was later additionally honored to perform in his jazz quintet, Powder Keg, becoming his piano partner.

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Recently, I received another honor, a Lifetime Achievement Award from my former country of Yugoslavia, where in early August, I performed at the Nišville Jazz Festival in Niš, Serbia, south of the capital of Belgrade.

I have put all of this learned knowledge from these great musicians to good use, and am now recognized for presenting first-rate concerts, featuring world-class ensembles that cover various styles of jazz. I always perform with the best of instrumentalists and vocalists, both from the Bay Area, and also with visiting musicians from New York and Europe.

Examples of my well received concerts/presentations include my role as the director of the firstNapa Valley Jazz Festival, which took place in the early 90s in Yountville for several years. Additionally, I was the first to present the West Coast Jazz Festivalin a club setting, this being at Kimball’s East that featured some of the greatest West Coast jazz names, both from Los Angeles and San Francisco: Harold Land, Conte Candoli, Leroy Vinnegar, Vernon Alley, Buddy Collette, Mary Stallings; I also presented two New York greats at Kimball’s East: bebop masters Barry Harris and Charles McPherson, who were featured in Clint Eastwood’s film “Bird” about jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker.

Other venues where I performed and brought in great musicians include the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Kimball’s West, Napa Valley Jazz Society, Sonoma Jazz Society, Blue Note in Napa and more.

During the Great Depression of the ‘30s, it was music, in particular jazz, that lifted people’s spirits and gave them hope. I truly hope that someone who is in a good position would come forth and contact me so that we can together present top-quality music that in these difficult times, would bring joy and lift people’s spirits. The person who is able to support jazz presentations, such as these, would give much more presence to some great instrumentalists and vocalists, allowing them more opportunity to play and work, where also important recordings could be made featuring these artists, while they are still on the planet. Also, a person who is able to support this great art of jazz would leave behind him a timeless legacy that also would uplift his personal spirits and memory.

Larry Vuckovich lives in Calistoga and regularly performs throughout the Bay Area, the U.S., and Europe. He can be contacted at lvuckovich@usa.net.

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