In the Loop
Alumni News : Jun 21, 2017

SOM alumnus releases new album with Jazz innovator Bucky Pizzarelli

By Macey Wilson

School of Music alumnus Larry Newcomb (MM Music Education ‘95, PhD Music Education ‘98) is releasing his second album with fellow bandmates Eric Olsen, Dmitri Kolesnik and Jimmy Madison.

The album, Living Tribute, will also feature 91-year-old jazz innovator Bucky Pizzarelli.

“Mr. Pizzarelli is one of last surviving originators of the swing jazz era,” Newcomb said.

Newcomb, who first fell in love with music making at age six, entered the master’s program at UF after meeting with then-professor emeritus Dr. David Kushner in 1989.

“I wanted the credentials to teach jazz at the college level,” Newcomb said. “I then chose to continue at UF through to my doctorate in Music Education.”

While at UF, Newcomb, who was already a guitar instructor in the Gainesville area, taught Introduction to Music Literature as a graduate assistant.

When asked about his preference between playing and teaching music, Newcomb said:

“It's almost like, ‘Do I like my left leg or right leg better?’ Performing and teaching nurture and inform each other.”

Newcomb said his his favorite style of music is jazz; however, his work has classical, blues and rock influences as well.

“Why jazz? I love the improvisation,” Newcomb said. “That’s a big factor.”

Newcomb, now working with a manager, sets his sites on teaching, workshops, master classes and concerts at colleges and high schools..  

“I’m combining my academic knowledge and lifelong experience as a professional guitarist to educational institutions,” Newcomb said.

Newcomb moved to New York City in 1999 but continues to visit Gainesville to see friends and perform with his son Jake, a fine jazz bass player.

On his newest album, Newcomb pays tribute to individual people and well-known jazz connoisseurs who have had an immensely positive impact on his life and on his development as a distinctly intimate jazz guitarist and composer.

While at UF, Newcomb studied the Western art music repertoire, became acquainted with ethnomusicology and came into his own as an educator and composer.

“The first word that comes to mind to in describing my years at UF is inspiration,” Newcomb said

To learn more about Larry Newcomb’s music and listen to his new album, visit