Recent NewsApril 16, 2019
Entertaining from Start to Finish
Considered one of the finest trumpeters in the world, Allen Vizzutti returns to perform trumpet pyrotechnics and jazz favorites with the Roberts Wesleyan College-Community Orchestra on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Hale Auditorium (Roberts Cultural Life Center). The exciting program features several of Vizzutti’s original compositions, including “My Italian Heart,” “Touch,” “Glide,” and “American Jazz Suite.” Movie soundtrack favorites by John Williams, Marquez’s “Danzon,” and Vizzutti’s lively rendition of Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” complete the evening.
Vizzutti last performed with the RWCCO in 2011. As conductor Dr. Paul Shewan relates, ‘He’s played with everyone all over the world, so I thought, “Why not? Let’s see if we can get him to come and play with our orchestra.” And he did!’
Shewan describes Vizzutti’s playing as both versatile and flexible. “He can improvise well in any jazz style, then pick up a piccolo trumpet to play a Baroque piece and sound beautiful on it.” Shewan has known about Vizzutti since he was in high school. “He was already a legend; everyone was talking about him. He’d be in the middle of a solo and start double tonguing a cadenza in octaves. He can hit powerful double high C’s with no problem, and then he’ll go down and tongue the lowest note – no problem. Those things are out of the ordinary for most trumpet players. His technique – tonguing, fingering, dexterity, flexibility – it was kind of freakish. He had all of this stuff that only he could do; it was unbelievable.”
Vizzutti’s first teacher was his father, a self-taught musician and trumpet player. Leaving his Montana home, he attended Eastman on full scholarship. As a freshman, he performed in Eastman Brass, a faculty quintet. He earned his B.M. and M.M. degrees, a Performer’s Certificate, and the only Artist’s Diploma ever awarded a wind player in Eastman’s history.
Vizzutti’s reputation spread as he began touring and performing as a soloist with orchestras, military bands, and professional and regional bands around the world. He has visited 60 countries and all 50 states, performing with artists such as Chick Corea, 'Doc' Severinsen, the NBC Tonight Show Band, the Airmen Of Note, the Army Blues and Army Symphony Orchestra, Chuck Mangione, Woody Herman, Japan’s NHK Orchestra and the New Tokyo Philharmonic, the Budapest Radio Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Leipzig Wind Symphony and the Kosei Wind Orchestra. He is a jazz and classical recording artist, a published composer, and an active pedagogue, having taught as Artist in Residence at the Eastman School of Music, the Banff Center for the Performing Arts, the Skidmore Jazz Institute, the Trompeten Akademie of Bremen Germany, and several other universities. Having performed on over 150 motion picture soundtracks, Vizzutti’s signature sound can be heard on Back to the Future and Star Trek, countless television shows, video games, and recordings with Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, and more.
Known as a performer, technician, and specialist, Vizzutti is passionate about music education and “the value of music in everyday life,” as he puts it. Every time he came to perform with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, he would stop by a local elementary school to visit a friend’s students. “That says a lot about him. He’s genuine, and he lets his trumpet playing do the talking,” Shewan remarked.
When asked why people should come see Allen Vizzutti in concert, Shewan exclaimed, “It’s going to be entertaining from start to finish. The stuff he can do is jaw-dropping. It’s not just show – his playing is really beautiful. It’s going to be a great night. To hear a guy like this…phew!”
For tickets, https://www.roberts.edu/clc/event/?id=233. For more information, visit vizzutti.com.
Written by Emily Hutchinson, 4.16.19
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