Al Di Meola
originally filmed on JUNE 11, 2023
Tonight on Fridays Live, SFJAZZ presents one of the most influential and innovative guitarists of all time - Al Di Meola. He rose to fame in the 1970s as a member of Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, and then launched a prolific solo career that spanned genres from jazz to rock to world music. His 1977 album Elegant Gypsy is widely regarded as a masterpiece of jazz fusion, and his 1980 landmark Friday Night in San Francisco with flamenco genius Paco de Lucía and jazz guitar giant John McLaughlin went multi-platinum and set the standard for guitar mastery. This concert, recorded June 11, 2023 as part of the 40th annual San Francisco Jazz Festival, sees Di Meola's return to the city where he recorded one of the greatest guitar albums of all time, bringing his current trio and music from across his matchless career.
A bona fide guitar hero and perennial poll-winner, Al Di Meola has been recognized internationally over the past four decades as virtuoso of the highest order.
ABOUT AL DI MEOLA
Genius guitarist Al Di Meola returns to the city where he recorded arguably the greatest guitar album of all time, bringing his current trio and music from across his matchless career.
A technical virtuoso with uncommon soul and passion, Di Meola is on the shortlist of the world’s great guitarists. He came to worldwide prominence in 1974 when he was invited by Chick Corea to join the fusion supergroup Return to Forever at age 19, playing a quicksilver form of electric jazz that set a new high-water mark for what could be achieved on his instrument.
Initially inspired by the work of Tal Farlow, Kenny Burrell, and Larry Coryell, Di Meola has forged his own path as a composer and instrumentalist. Since his 1976 debut Land of the Midnight Sun, the New Jersey born guitarist has helped pioneer the melding of jazz with global influences, mixing elements of flamenco, tango, and Middle Eastern music with the rhythms of India, Brazil and West Africa.
In 1980, he recorded the landmark Friday Night in San Francisco in a trio with flamenco genius Paco de Lucía and jazz guitar giant John McLaughlin — a multi-Platinum selling album that set the standard for guitar mastery. In 2022, Di Meola released the follow-up, Saturday Night in San Francisco, an archival performance recorded the following night and previously unheard.
He returns to SF for a rare appearance in a trio with a pair of percussionists, Richie Morales and Amit Kavthekar.
Setlist, Personnel, & More
Coming Up on Fridays Live
FRI, JUNE 30 • 7:30 PM PT
FRI, AUG 25 • 7:30 PM PT