LARGO — Al Di Meola will perform Saturday, March 27, at 4 and 8 p.m., at Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo.
This show will be presented in a limited-capacity cabaret setting to promote proper social distancing. Tables of four will be available for purchase as a package for $240. To avoid close contact with others outside each group, seats will not be sold individually. For tickets and information, visit www.largoarts.com.
Di Meola’s “Across the Universe Legacy” U.S. Tour will feature an exclusive preview of his new tribute album to the Beatles. The new album showcases his unique approach and vision of those beloved classics. Di Meola’s ongoing fascination with complex rhythmic syncopation combined with provocative lyrical melodies and sophisticated harmony has been at the heart of his music throughout a celebrated career that has spanned four decades and earned him critical accolades, three gold albums and more than six million in record sales worldwide.
He has amassed over 20 albums as a leader while collaborating on a dozen or so others with the likes of the fusion supergroup Return to Forever, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia, Jean-Luc Ponty and more. And while his dazzling technique on both acoustic and electric guitars has afforded him regal status among the hordes of fretboard fanatics who regularly flock to his concerts, the depth of Di Meola’s writing along with the soulfulness and the inherent lyricism of his musical expression have won him legions of fans worldwide beyond the guitar aficionado set.
A native of New Jersey who still resides in the Garden State, Di Meola was born in Jersey City in 1954.
Growing up in Bergenfield with the music of Elvis Presley, The Ventures and The Beatles, he naturally gravitated to guitar as a youngster and by his early teens was already an accomplished player. Attaining such impressive skills at such a young age didn’t come easy for him but rather was the result of focused dedication and intensive periods of woodshedding between his junior and senior years in high school.
His earliest role models in jazz included guitarists Tal Farlow and Kenny Burrell. But when he discovered Larry Coryell, whom Al would later dub “The Godfather of Fusion,” he was taken with the guitarist’s unprecedented blending of jazz, blues and rock into one seamless vocabulary on the instrument.
In 1971, he enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and by the second semester there began playing in a fusion quartet led by keyboardist Barry Miles. A gig tape of that band was later passed on to Chick Corea in the early part of 1974 the 19-year-old guitarist was tapped to join the fusion super-band as a replacement for guitarist Bill Connors.
Di Meola’s discography includes “Land of the Midnight Sun” (1976), “Elegant Gypsy” (1977), “Casino” (1978), “Splendido Hotel” (1980), “Electric Rendezvous” (1982), “Scenario” (1983), “Cielo e Terra” (1985), “Soaring Through a Dream” (1985), “Tirami Su” (1987), “World Sinfonia” (1991), “Kiss My Axe” (1991), “World Sinfonia II – Heart of the Immigrants” (1993), “Orange and Blue” (1994), “Di Meola Plays Piazzolia” (1996), “The Infinite Desire” (1998), “Winter Nights” (1999), “World Sinfonia III – The Grande Passion” (2000), “Flesh on Flesh” (2002), “Consequence of Chaos” (2006), “Vocal Rendezvous” (2006), “Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar” (2007), “Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody” (2011), “All Your Life (A Tribute to the Beatles)” (2013), “Elysium” (2015), “Opus” (2018), and “Across the Universe” (2020).
Di Meola welcomes a new decade with an ambitious follow-up to 2013’s “All Your Life” with a further homage to the Beatles. He employs a wide lens on “Across the Universe” with lightening-speed electric guitar orchestrations balanced with lavish acoustic arrangements. “Across the Universe,” which is preceded by debut single “Strawberry Fields Forever,” was released in March 2020.
In July 2018, Di Meola was awarded the Honorary Doctorate Degree of Music of his former alma mater the Berklee College of Music.