Lou Volpe Guitarist

Lou Volpe


Accomplished guitarist, Lou Volpe, has released his first Standard album of his career “Remembering Ol’ Blue Eyes”, (songs of Sinatra). Receiving rave reviews, it combines influences of jazz, bossa nova, blues and swing into his legendary unique sound.

A native New Yorker, Lou Volpe is a standard not only on the New York music scene, but also recognized internationally as a master of the guitar. His artistry is combined with elegance, fire and soul coupled with a seductive, lyrical sound. Volpe’s empathetic virtuosity has allowed him to work in a wide variety of musical contexts while developing a unique approach to the guitar – a warm and lyric romanticism that illuminates the worlds of Jazz, R&B and Adult Contemporary. Having a past resume of performance and recording credits with diverse artists such as Peggy Lee, Chaka Khan, Bo Diddley, David “Fathead” Newman, Chet Baker, Liza Minnelli, Lionel Hampton, Roberta Flack, Phoebe Snow, The Manhattan Transfer and numerous others; touring extensively with Bette Midler, Judy Collins and the legendary Herbie Mann (for whom he composed, arranged and co-produced) has recognized his talent as a sought-after performer either solo or with his group. Interesting mentions: A performance with Herbie Hancock at Lincoln Center; A solo performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival; Televised concerts in NYC at the John Birks Gillespie Theater (for Jazz), as well as a presentation by The Apollo Theater, NYC, for recognition of his performances in Harlem, “The Jazz Capital” of NYC. His tours have included the U.S, Europe, Africa and Japan.

Respected by his peers and fans, Lou Volpe’s previous CDs “Can You Hear That?”, “Lou Volpe Undercovers”, and “Hear and Now” have been well received throughout the world.

Media Quotes

“Lou Volpe is a great guitarist. You should hear this guy play!”

George Benson, musician

“Lou Volpe’s guitar stylings evoke memories of the Golden Age of American Pop Music and remind us why it was a Golden


“Every time he plays a single note I’m so taken away with his artistry and supreme gift.”

Sid Bernstein, Music Producer and Promoter

“Riveting, exciting…jazz as it was meant to be. I really do mean that.”

Joe Franklin, Bloomberg Radio

“If you like Sinatra you’ll like Lou Volpe.”
Sid Mark, Radio Personality “Sounds of Sinatra”

“Lou Volpe is one of the greatest guitarists.” Joey Reynolds, Radio Personality

“Volpe plays an inventive and entertaining groove.”

20th Century Guitar Magazine 2008

“Lou Volpe is one of the best in the business.”


“Lou Volpe, contemporary jazz guitarist, uses cool guitar and feel-good grooves to present a new soulful jazz view of familiar tunes with a touch of Brazil.”


“He has the hardness of Wes Montgomery…” Syracuse Post Standard

“Lou Volpe is a guitarist who has the groove down pat, with the harmonic and melodic sensibilities to put a personal stamp

on all his flights.”

Nick Jones, All About Jazz

“I hadn’t heard of Lou Volpe before, but I’ll be very happy to hear a lot more of him in the future.”

Tony Augarde, Guitar International

Jack Kleinsinger, Producer of “Highlights in Jazz “


Elaine Zimmer
email: booking@louvolpejazz.com

Lou direct:
email: lou@louvolpejazz.com

Lou has been chosen by YAMAHA GUITARS to be the “Clinic / Performing Yamaha Artist” for the USA.

By: Vince Lewis

Lou Volpe has an outstanding professional resume. He has appeared as a sideman with many great jazz and pop artists. A partial list includes Herbie Hancock, Chet Baker, Herbie Mann, Peggy Lee and the Manhattan Transfer. Volpe was a student of Sal Salvador and spent quite a bit of time in jam sessions with Les Paul.

Here and Now recording is largely original material. Titles include “Astral Island,” “Hear and Now,” “Live Wires” and “Blue Boppa.” “Prince Charming” is a straight-ahead shuffle blues and there is a nice Latin treatment of the classic jazz standard “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise.”

Volpe has a strong blues influence present in his phrasing. His tone is the very traditional and contains a familiar big and round hollow-body sound. His phrasing changes from ultra funky to be bop as the tune dictates. His single-note lines are well crafted and executed.

The surrounding cast on this recording is comprised of veteran jazz players. Onaje Allan Gumbs (piano), Bob Cranshaw (bass) and Buddy Williams (drums) provide the perfect backing for Volpe’s guitar work.

Fans of both Mainstream and Smooth Jazz should enjoy this effort by Volpe and company. There are enough different grooves here to appeal to each type of listener. Volpe has been around the Jazz Guitar scene for quite a while, and it’s a pleasure to see a new recording with him as the bandleader.

Here is a review from Acoustic Music

This one surprised me. I expected a more straight ahead session a la the Sheryl Bailey release (here), especially given the included standard (Softly as in a Morning Sunrise) and titular references (One for Wes, Coltrane of Thought), but Lou Volpe comes from the fusion side of the house and deftly blends such diverse influences as Steve Khan, Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs era), some DiMeola (!), and then a bunch Crusaders-era string benders (Carlton, Ritenour, Tropea, etc.) after a coupla quarts of caffeine. More, he gathered an impressive trio (Onaje Allan Gumbs on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Buddy Williams on drums) that reinforces a straight-ahead contrast to the guitar’s fluid, adventurous, constantly morphing voice and celerities.

The result is a combination that weds trad with 70s jazz-rock in a ceremony managing to make everything in this zesty fete of connubiality dance and bop. The title track shows it clearly, flitting between mannered sonorities and wild convolutions. Volpe is one of those cats who can turn on a dime and give you nine cents change before charging for the next hurdle, but, in Coltrane of Thought, Gumbs gives him a bit of concurrent what-fer as well, taking the keys on a romp, Volpe later re-taking the turf in an even more dexterous display as the comp fades out. As the few-seconds between-tracks silence intervenes, the listener is advised to take deep breaths, check his pulse, and get ready for the rest of the CD.

This guitarist is not only fleet of finger but nimble of mind. What might be a blur in a rock guitarist’s hands becomes crystal clear in Lou’s and precious few rockers ever go through so many tempo, stylistic, and modal changes in the space of a single cut. Hear and Now is a text in how quickly a six-stringer must adopt a dizzying array of possibilities in order to keep up with the ferment of his own evolving terrain. Still, what tickles my ribs is how this disc is going to have both stodgy traditionalists and futurist prog-heads sitting side by side, grooving to how well the materiality of both can harmonize and then play off one another. Not an easy feat, not at all.

by Mark S. Tucker