John Stowell is a noted jazz guitarist.
He’s performed around the world — including, in 1983, the Soviet Union’s first public jazz performance in 40 years. Stowell has also been artist-in-residence at schools in Germany, Indonesia, Argentina, the US and Canada.
He recorded with Lionel Hampton. He appeared on BET Jazz Discovery. His “Through the Looking Glass” LP was chosen as one of the Best Jazz Albums of the Decade by the Los Angeles Examiner.
Greg Wall — “The Jazz Rabbi,” and a world-renowned saxophonist — knew all of that when he asked Stowell to join him this Thursday (December 5), for 2 shows at Pearl at Longshore (6:30 and 8:15 p.m.).
One thing Wall did not know, though: Stowell is a 1968 graduate of Staples High School.
The connection came out as they chatted. Though Stowell — who now lives in Portland, Oregon — still has many friends in the area, and visits once or twice a year, he has not played here in at least 40 years.
Despite his pedigree, Stowell is not a product of the Westport schools’ famed music program. He came late to jazz — after Staples. He studied with, and was mentored by, John Mehegan and Linc Chamberland.
He left Fairfield County in 1974, for New York. Two years later, he headed to the West Coast.
Stowell looks forward to playing in Westport — and meeting Wall. They’ll be joined by 7-time Grammy-winning bassist Jay Anderson, and drummer Rogerio Boccato.
Neither of whom — as far as we know — has a local connection. Besides, that is, bringing cool jazz music to a very cool venue.