Legendary violinist Jean Luc Ponty sets date in Scottsdale

Danny Zelisko presents the return of legendary French violinist Jean Luc Ponty and his band, who will be bringing their “The Atlantic Years” tour to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts 8 p.m.  Friday, June 9.

World-renowned violinist Jean Luc Ponty performs this June at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets for the event went on sale this week at http://www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org/.

Jean Luc Ponty is a pioneer and master of the violin in the arena of jazz and rock. He is widely regarded as an innovator who has applied his unique visionary spin that has expanded the vocabulary of modern music.

The Jean Luc Ponty Band features Mr. Ponty on violin, Wally Minko on keyboards, Jamie Glaser on guitar, Rayford Griffin on drums, and Baron Browne on bass.

“We’re calling it ‘The Atlantic Years’ tour since I am touring with my band from the late ’70s – 80s with whom I recorded several albums for Atlantic Records,” says Mr. Ponty.

After studying classical violin at the Paris Conservatory, Mr. Ponty turned to jazz in the 1960s. Thanks to his revolutionary style he collaborated with some of the best European and American musicians such as Eddy Louiss, Daniel Humair, Niels Henning-Ørsted Pedersen, John Lewis, Lalo Schifrin, and Quincy Jones.

He became the first bebop violinist and jazz magazine Down Beat created a violin category for him in its critics’ poll. Until then violin was in the ‘miscellaneous instruments’ category. His work on the electric violin in the ’70s attracted the attention of pop and rock musicians; he recorded with Elton John and participated to several tours and  recordings with Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention and John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra.

In 1975 he founded his own band and became one of the most prominent figures of the jazz-fusion movement in the United States, selling millions of albums that all reached the top of the U.S. charts. Mr. Ponty’s most recent album “The Atacama Experience” is considered one of his best and to this day Mr. Ponty keeps touring with his band around the world.

Mr. Ponty also collaborates on occasional projects such as “The Rite of Strings” with Stanley Clarke and Al Di Meola. In 2011 Ponty joined the mythical American group Return to Forever IV with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White and Frank Gambale for a world tour spanning on five continents.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is located on Scottsdale Civic Center Park, a 21-acre urban oasis next to the city’s Old Town and gallery districts. The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is funded in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, which receives support from the State of Arizona and National Endowment for the Arts.

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