LARRY KOONSE

Born into a musical family, Larry has been playing the guitar since he was seven years old. At the age of fifteen he recorded an album with his father, guitarist Dave Koonse, entitled “Dave and Larry Koonse; father and son jazz guitars.” In 1984, Larry was the first recipient of a BM in Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California.

Immediately after graduating from USC Larry toured extensively for six years as a member of the John Dankworth quartet, traveling all across the globe and backing up Cleo Laine. He is currently a member of Billy Child's landmark chamber sextet which just released a CD entitled “Lyric” featuring Brian Blade and received a grammy nomination for instrumental jazz album of the year. He has also toured and recorded with Mel Torme, Terry Gibbs, Bob Brookmeyer, Billy Childs, John Patitucci, David Friesen, Karrin Allyson, Warne Marsh and was a featured performer with the Percy Faith Orchestra on a tour of Japan. At the invitation of Nelson Mandela and UNICEF, Larry traveled to South Africa to perform for the first annual SAMIX festival with the Steve Houghton quintet. He also performed with Gary Willis in Sao Paulo for a government sponsored concert at SESC Ipiranga. In his travels, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Academy of Music, Disney Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and has been a featured soloist with the L.A. Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and many other orchestras throughout the world. Larry has recorded with Cleo Laine, Al Hirt, Jimmy Rowles, Lee Konitz, Larry Goldings, Alan Broadbent, Ray Brown, Bill Perkins, Toots Thielemanns, Rod Stewart, Clay Jenkins, Linda Ronstadt, David Friesen, Bob Sheppard, Charlie Haden and many other jazz artists. His solo guitar work was featured throughout “Crazy”, a feature film chronicling the life of the great guitarist Hank Garland.

The founder of the Player’s School, the renown bassist Jeff Berlin, contacted Larry in 1995 to write a guitar curriculum which is currently used for their program. He was co-leader of the L.A. Jazz Quartet which released their fourth CD, “Conversation Piece” (NAXOS Records) in September, 2000. The quartet’s first three CD’s, “Astarte” (GOWI), “Look To The East” (NAXOS), and “Family Song” (NTR), have received critical acclaim for their originality and musical depth. Larry’s most recent recording, “Storybook” is now available through Jazz Compass (www.jazzcompass.com). He has two other releases on the Jazz Compass label: Americana ( a recording featuring Scott Colley on the bass) and Dialogues of the Heart (featuring his father Dave Koonse in a guitar duo setting). Larry has been a faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts since 1990.




L.A. Jazz Quartet photos