CLEARWATER — Grammy Award winner Al Di Meola will take the stage Sunday, Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m., at Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater.
Tickets start at $29.50. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.atthecap.com.
Di Meola’s celebrated career has spanned four decades and earned him critical accolades, three gold albums and more than 6 million in record sales worldwide.
A bona fide guitar hero, perennial poll-winner, and prolific composer, he has amassed over 20 albums as a leader while collaborating on a dozen or so others with the likes of the fusion supergroup Return to Forever, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia, Jean-Luc Ponty and more. And while his dazzling technique on both acoustic and electric guitars has afforded him regal status among the hordes of fretboard fanatics who regularly flock to his concerts, the depth of Di Meola’s writing along with the soulfulness and the inherent lyricism of his musical expression have won him legions of fans worldwide beyond the guitar aficionado set.
Di Meola, again and again, reveals himself as a seasoned gifted contemporary composer and a player of deepening grace and evocative lyricism. He has been continually cited by many of the top prominent music critics around the world for his virtuosic guitar work and compositions. His intrigue with complex rhythmic syncopation combined with provocative lyrical melodies always incorporating, sophisticated harmony at the root of these serious but heart felt works is central and foremost.
A native of New Jersey who still resides in the Garden State, Di Meola was born in Jersey City in 1954.
Growing up in Bergenfield with the music of Elvis Presley, The Ventures and The Beatles, he naturally gravitated to guitar as a youngster and by his early teens was already an accomplished player. Attaining such impressive skills at such a young age didn’t come easy for him but rather was the result of focused dedication and intensive periods of woodshedding between his junior and senior years in high school.
His earliest role models in jazz included guitarists Tal Farlow and Kenny Burrell. But when he discovered Larry Coryell, whom Al would later dub “The Godfather of Fusion,” he was taken with the guitarist’s unprecedented blending of jazz, blues and rock into one seamless vocabulary on the instrument.
In 1971, he enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and by the second semester there began playing in a fusion quartet led by keyboardist Barry Miles. A gig tape of that band was later passed on to Chick Corea in the early part of 1974 the 19-year-old guitarist was tapped to join the fusion super-band as a replacement for guitarist Bill Connors.
Di Meola’s discography includes “Land of the Midnight Sun” (1976), “Elegant Gypsy” (1977), “Casino” (1978), “Splendido Hotel” (1980), “Electric Rendezvous” (1982), “Scenario” (1983), “Cielo e Terra” (1985), “Soaring Through a Dream” (1985), “Tirami Su” (1987), “World Sinfonia” (1991), “Kiss My Axe” (1991), “World Sinfonia II – Heart of the Immigrants” (1993), “Orange and Blue” (1994), “Di Meola Plays Piazzolia” (1996), “The Infinite Desire” (1998), “Winter Nights” (1999), “World Sinfonia III – The Grande Passion” (2000), “Flesh on Flesh” (2002), “Consequence of Chaos” (2006), “Vocal Rendezvous” (2006), “Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar” (2007), “Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody” (2011), “All Your Life (A Tribute to the Beatles)” (2013), “Elysium” (2015) and “Opus” (2018).
“Opus” is the first of six signed projects with German record label earMUSIC. In July 2018, Di Meola was awarded the Honorary Doctorate Degree of Music of his former alma mater Berklee School of Music.