Fascinating Jazz Life: Music of Dexter Gordon, Bobby Hutcherson, Duke Ellington & more
LARRY VUCKOVICH SEXTET
Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm
Featuring Kai Lyons, guitar; Rob Roth, tenor; Hector Lugo, Latin percussion/vocals; Jeff Chambers, bass; Jason Lewis, drums. Surprise Guest: Sitting In-Fresh New Jazz Voice, Charity Goodin-Sanenhttps://www.yoshis.com/event/1821231/
Larry Vuckovich has just received a Lifetime Achievement Award from his former country Yugoslavia, where he will be going in August to receive the award and perform at the Nišville Jazz Festival in Serbia. He also received another award here in the Bay Area for being the Outstanding Jazz Musician in 2019. His website www.larryvuckovich.com lists all of this info on the home page.
Prior to his departure to the former Yugoslavia, where he will receive the award and perform at the Nišville Jazz Festival in August, he has a major concert: At Yoshi’s on June 19th Download Flier
Pianist Larry Vuckovich narrates his exciting jazz journey that began as a child in Yugoslavia, under the Nazi occupation and later a Communist dictatorship. Access to Armed Forces Radio and its broadcast of American big band music came to symbolize freedom for the young classically-trained musician.
Then, like a movie, opportunity suddenly opened for him and his family. They were allowed to immigrate to the U.S., home of jazz, and more specifically, San Francisco, which like New York on the other coast, was the lively center of bebop music and other jazz styles. One door after another opened for him, leading to performances with jazz legends, such as Vince Guaraldi, Mel Torme, Jon Hendricks, Dexter Gordon, Philly Joe Jones, Lenny Bruce, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden, Tony Bennett, Bobby McFerrin, and many more.
Larry’s family was granted refugee status because his father Milutin Vuckovich had lived in the U.S. for 11 years and had served with the U.S. Armed Forces in Europe during World War I. Later he returned to Montene- gro in the former Yugoslavia to help his brothers open a factory for processing olive oil and related prize- winning soaps and lotions.
But as the ‘20s gave way to the late ‘30s, and the German Nazis mobilized for invasion of other European countries, including the Balkans, Larry’s father doubled as a successful businessman and an underground fighter helping save 17 of the 500 U.S. airmen downed after bombing raids on neighboring Rumanian oil fields, a main source of German fuel. He hid one flier in the attic for two weeks while Nazi officers occupied the villa’s main floor.
Life became even worse under Tito’s Communism, when Larry’s father was labeled an American collaborator and sentenced to prison and threatened with execution. The American Government influenced the release and subsequent resettlement of the family in San Francisco, where the elder Vuckovich had retained friendships formed in his early days with American friends as well as members of the Serbian community.
But to the 14-year-old Larry, an amazing life was about to unfold, as if his film noir beginning had suddenly morphed into a technicolor production. He now lived in the midst of the flourishing jazz scene of the ‘50s, one of the most exciting periods in the history of jazz. He could hardly wait to dive in.
510 Embarcadero West
Oakland, CA, 94607