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Larry Vuckovich on Piano Jazz

Larry Vuckovich was born in Kotor, Montenegro, Yugoslavia in 1936. He began studying piano classically from an early age, but was also captivated by the sounds of jazz he heard on Armed Forces Radio. His father, a pro-American businessman, found himself under pressure from communist forces following WWII, so he moved the family to the U.S. They settled in San Francisco in 1951, and the 14-year-old Vuckovich began to immerse himself in the city's thriving jazz scene.

In high school, Vuckovich performed in the school's small jazz ensemble and began taking lessons with pianist Vince Guaraldi. The two occasionally performed together, and Vuckovich often subbed for Gauraldi, which gave him the opportunity to accompany singers such as Mel Torme and Irene Krall.

In the mid-'60s, Vuckovich joined singer John Hendricks and followed him to clubs and festivals around the world. Vuckovich spent a year as house pianist at Munich's Domicile Jazz club in the late '60s where he played with such jazz giants as Slide Hampton, Clifford Jordan and Philly Joe Jones, with whom he briefly toured. In the late '70s and early '80s.

Vuckovich returned to San Francisco in the late '70s where he served as house pianist at Keystone Korner in San Francisco, before settling in New York for much of the 1980s. He appeared at all of the city's best clubs and performed with Al Cohn, Milt Hinton, Mel Lewis, Cecil Payne and Billy Higgins.

Since his return to San Francisco in 1990, Vuckovich has served as house pianist at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, with regular performances at Yoshi's, The Bach, and Jazz at Pearl's, and as music director for both the West Coast and Napa Valley jazz festivals. Vuckovich returned to New York last fall to perform at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola. His latest CD, High Wall: Real Life Film Noir, will be released in June 2008 on his Tetrachord Music label, as a follow-up to his 2006 Street Scene CD.

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