In a special edition of “Gene DiNovi: In Concert & Conversation”, piano icon GENE DiNOVI teams with his long-time friend and musical associate, internationally-lauded and globally-decorated classical Clarinetist JAMES CAMPBELL, in informal jazz collaboration by two titans of the concert stage.
Canadian/American clarinet exemplar JAMES CAMPBELL has more than 40 recordings, a Juno Award, a Roy Thomson Hall Award, the Canadian Music Council’s Artist of the Year, the Order of Canada, and The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Since 1988, he has been teaching clarinet at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and has been the Artistic Director of the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, Ontario since 1985.
Legendary Pianist GENE DiNOVI was born in Brooklyn, New York, and it was after his first visit to Toronto as an accompanist to Carmen McRae in 1971 that DiNovi decided to make the Canadian jazz scene his permanent place of residence. Now 91 years old, DiNovi is one of the few musicians of his generation who is still actively performing.
His love for, and understanding of the popular song became strongly evident during the 1950s when his playing during these years attracted the attention of singers such as Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett, and the magnificent Lena Horne. It was through these stellar performers that DiNovi came to know and work with the finest songwriters of the day including Harold Arlen, Jimmy Van Husen, and Harry Warren. Although DiNovi had been recording since 1945 as a sideman and/or accompanist to jazz giants, he is likely best known as Lena Horne’s accompanist, playing with her for seven years from 1955 to 1963 and occasionally after that.