The Rockit Live Foundation announced its collaboration with the Les Paul Foundation through a grant awarded to educate their students, at the Count Basie Center for the Arts, with a course of study regarding the life and legacy of the musician, innovator, and inventor. Students participated in 5 weeks of intensive study with the Rockit Academy’s faculty, plus assistance from Les Paul’s former trio led by Lou Pallo (Paul’s longtime sideman), bassist Gary Mazzaroppi, and guitarist Frank Vignola. Guitarist Vinny Raniolo also took part in addition to special guests. Instrument and voice workshops were provided that focused on jazz standards that Les Paul and his Trio performed during their popular weekly Monday evening performances in Manhattan, from 1983 until Les Paul’s passing in 2009. “It’s an honor for me to carry forward Les’s story and his music style”, said Pallo, “We’re going to teach the arrangements as the songs were interpreted by Les”.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK WEISS