Al Di Meola, Jordan Rudess to perform at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Al Di Meola (Submitted Photo)

Danny Zelisko Presents an evening with Al Di Meola with special guest Dream Theatres’ Jordan Rudess, at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30.

Reserved seat tickets for the event go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, June 4th at 10, according to a press release.

Al Di Meola

Mr. Di Meola’s ongoing fascination with complex rhythmic syncopation combined with lyrical melodies and harmonies have been at the heart of his music throughout a career that has spanned four decades and earned him accolades, three gold albums and more than six million in record sales worldwide.

A guitarist, poll-winner and composer. Mr. Di Meola has amassed over 30 albums as a leader, while collaborating on more than a dozen others with the likes of the fusion supergroup Return to Forever, acoustic Guitar Trio and the Rite of Strings, a release states.

A musician who blends world music and jazz, Mr. Di Meola continues to explore the rich influence of flamenco, tango, Middle Eastern, Brazilian and African music with his World Sinfonia, a pan-global group that he formed in 1991.

Mr. Di Meola’s earliest role models in jazz included guitarists Tal Farlow and Kenny Burrell, but when he discovered Larry Coryell, he said he was taken with the guitarist’s unprecedented blending of jazz, blues and rock into one seamless vocabulary on the instrument.

“I used to ride the bus from New Jersey to see him at little clubs in Greenwich Village,” he said in a prepared statement. “Wherever he was playing, I’d be there.”

In 1972, Mr. Di Meola enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. By the second semester there, he began playing in a fusion quartet. When a gig tape of that band was later passed on to Chick Corea in 1974, the 19-year-old guitarist was tapped to join Mr. Corea’s fusion supergroup Return to Forever.

The group eventually disbanded and Mr. Di Meola subsequently started up his career as a solo artist.

His 1976 debut as a leader, Land of the Midnight Sun, was a showcase of his signature chops and Latin-tinged compositions that featured a cast of musicians. Mr. Di Meola made six more albums with Columbia Records.

His 2013 release All Your Life was an acoustic tour de force that had him revisiting the music of his influence — The Beatles.

“That was a major catalyst for me to want to learn music, so their impact was pretty strong,” he said in a prepared statement.

In 2015, he was honored as the 22nd recipient of the Montreal Jazz Festival’s Miles Davis Award, created to honor an international jazz musician for the entirety of his or her work.

In 2018, Mr. Di Meola was signed to earMUSIC to release his brand new studio album OPUS.

“With OPUS I wanted to further my compositional skills as I this that the evolution of this part of my persona has labeled me more composer/guitarist than guitarist/composer,” he said in a prepared statement.

“At the same time this record also marks a new era in my life. For the first time in my life, I have written music being happy, I’m in a wonderful relationship with my wife, I have a baby girl and a beautiful family that inspires me every day. I believe it shows in the music.”

Jordan Rudess (Submitted Photo)

Jordan Rudess

Mr. Rudess’ career began when he was 9, when he entered the Juilliard School of Music Pre-College Division for classical piano training.

By his late teens he had grown increasingly interested in synthesizers and progressive rock music, and against the counsel of his parents and tutors, he turned away from classical piano and tried his hand as a solo progressive rock keyboardist.

After performing in various groups during the 1980s, he was invited to join The Dixie Dregs, with whom he performed until joining Dream Theater in January 1999, working as the group’s full-time keyboardist since.

He has pursued numerous collaborations and solo projects throughout his career, beginning with his solo debut Listen. Mr. Rudess released All That Is Now, a solo acoustic piano recording which works interactively with his app, “Jordan Rudess Explores” and his orchestral album, Explorations which features a 50 piece orchestra.

The Unforgotten Path was a collection of original tracks as well as a collection of acoustic piano covers of songs that have inspired his musical life.

He owns the app development company Wizdom Music, which has developed numerous award-winning apps. He is also Chief Music Officer at CME Music, creators of XKey mobile keyboard, as well as the Director of Music Experience for the London-based technology company, Roli Labs and is an active Artist in Residence at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.

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