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Jim Dragoni performed at Who Got The Jazz? at World Cafe Live! and brought the fire. His clear, sharp and warm tone accented our celebration of guitarist, George Benson without needing to be George Benson.  Dragoni's style fits in that dynamic valley between the mountains of McLaughlin, Zappa, Montgomery and Coryell. That's a great place to be.  As featured special guest guitarist Jim Dragoni provided powerful solos, thoughtful accents and hot rhythms all night.   -Homer Jackson, Producer, Painted Bride


“From the very first notes of Jim Dragoni’s guitar, you know that this musician is FOR REAL and in full command of his instrument. Dragoni’s technique is flawless, empowered by a soulful spirit and years of experience and training. As his compositions and singing continues, you have a warm smile and nod your head, because you know this is going to be a truly magical evening. DRAGONI has got the GOODS!”  David Foss, Director, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
 

...his playing is simply brilliant..." Dr. Herb Wong, international jazz critic and record company executive  

"...his compositional skills far surpass many of his contemporaries" Ed Wismer, Cape May Star
 

"Jim Dragoni is a musician of considerable skill, talent, and versatility, to say nothing of his historical knowledge of jazz and folk music.  He recently agreed to sit in with my big band, and he absolutely nailed every style we attempted, including swing, Latin, ballad, contemporary, and funk. He also gave a wonderful master class, giving our students a spot-on picture of the real life of a modern musician.  I personally was most thrilled with the concert we played that night. Jim has a great voice and delivery, and it was a real treat for me to be able to do Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" with him.  He’s an amazing musician. " Chris McCourry, Artist/Teacher, Director of Jazz Studies/Trumpet--Hillsdale College, MI


 "Sometimes it rocks, sometimes it swings, sometimes it is pure sweet poetry" Steve Lopez of the Philadelphia Inquirer  
 
"Jim's ensemble playing and original compositions are superb..." Gerry Givnish, the Painted Bride Arts Center  
 
"...soulful rhythm with strong guitar riffs and an intense solo from Jim Dragoni" Steve Randazzo, Germantown Courier, reference to recording "Worlds" on Gazelle Records  
 
"Exciting performance...it was a gas!" Jenneth Webster,  Lincoln Center, NYC. 

"Check out his technique, the effortless speed...has thoroughly mastered his instrument...it would seem there's not much more for him learn about his craft" Jack Lloyd, in feature article, the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

 

Review by Karl Stark,  Philadelphia Inquirer

Jim Dragoni
Gargantua
(jim@dragoni.com ***)

This salty disc from guitarist Jim Dragoni is kind of a rough recording, but the playing startles the synapses.

The Philly guitarist, who studied with jazz sage Dennis Sandole (teacher to John Coltrane and other jazzerati), is a questing soul who can venture inside or outside the chord changes with the grace of a cat burglar.

Working with a series of venerable axes, from a Kubicki Stratocaster to a '43 Epiphone Emperor, Dragoni makes the antiques sound nubile again.

The solo "Night of the Firefly" lives up to its name, giving a kind of Celtic cascade to some fierce playing. The session of mostly originals features a challenging improvised piece, "Circles of Infallibility" with another regional treasure, tenor saxophonist Odean Pope.

Dragoni, who likes occasionally to flex his chops caveman-style, cooks to a driving froth on "Cloud Dance." The bugaboo feel with tenor saxophonist Elliott Levin, drummer Ed Watkins, and bassist Stephen Rossmeisl recalls some old glory.  (actual bassist:  Dylan Taylor, Rossmeisl played on other cuts)

 

Jim Dragoni is a composer, guitarist and teacher.   His performance areas include blues,  jazz and his own fiery original brand of hyrbidized cross genre art-music.  His music has received airplay in Europe as well as in the United States. He has been recognized for years on the East Coast as an artist, teacher and performer.

Call 866-450-0826 for info on the Music Studio in Chestnut Hill where Jim practices his art.

Review from Cape May concert, 2005

Past performances include:

Lincoln Center,  Mellon Jazz Festival,  Cape May Jazz Festival, Odette's, Havana, Academy of Music, Painted Bride Art Center,  The Art Alliance,  River Blues Festival, West Chester University, WHYY.FM, WRTI.FM, Widener University, Odettes...to name a few.

"Exciting performance...it was a gas!" Jenneth Webster, Program Director, Lincoln Center;  reference to performance on 8-20-93  

"...his playing is simply brilliant..." Dr. Herb Wong, international jazz critic and record company executive  

"One of Philly's finest"....Karl Stark, Philadelphia Inquirer
 
"Sometimes it rocks, sometimes it swings, sometimes it is pure sweet poetry" Steve Lopez of the Philadelphia Inquirer  
 
"Jim's ensemble playing and original compositions are superb..." Gerry Givnish, the Painted Bride Arts Center  

"Music flows from Dragoni's instrument as smoothly as maple syrup...his compositional skills far surpass many of his peers" Ed Wismer, Cape May Star and Wave
 
"...soulful rhythm with strong guitar riffs and an intense solo from Jim Dragoni" Steve Randazzo, Germantown Courier, reference to recording "Worlds" on Gazelle Records  

"Check out his technique, the effortless speed...has thoroughly mastered his instrument...it would seem there's not much more for him learn about his craft" Jack Lloyd, in feature article, the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

 

 
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