Selflessness is not a quality one often associates with artists. After all, creative people have their personal visions and usually spend their careers trying to get other people to help them realize those aspirations. Jazz guitarist John Pisano, known as a musician’s musician, is universally regarded as an empathetic player. That collaborative gene has served the Los Angeles jazz community well. The weekly Guitar Night he’s hosted will mark its 15th anniversary this Tuesday at Lucy’s 51 in Toluca Lake. It’s a milestone worthy of note.
The popular Tuesday night showcase has had several homes (Papashon, Rocco, Spazio’s, Vitello’s) since the 81-year-old Pisano founded it in 1997. It’s been an ongoing focal point for jazz guitarists of all stripes, and his efforts have fostered a sense of community among guitarists. Virtually every local jazz guitarist has duetted with Pisano.
“We took it to Birdland in New York a couple of years ago,” Pisano says proudly from his Studio City home. “George Benson and all of the New York guys came in and we were sold out every night.”