BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Legendary French musician Jean Luc Ponty, one of the finest and most esteemed violinist in the world is coming to the Bay Area. Long renowned as one of the premier virtuoso performers of his time, Ponty and his band will be at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on the night of Sunday, June 4th.
Dubbed “The Atlantic Years” tour since Ponty will be performing with his band from the late 70’s and 80’s when he recorded several albums for Atlantic Records, he returns to the Bay Area for the first time in nearly two years. Since last appearing at the Regency in 2015 following the stellar “Anderson Ponty Band” collaboration with Jon Anderson, the angelically voiced lead singer for the British progressive rock band Yes was just recently inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. If you’re a fan of either Ponty or Anderson, APB’s “Better Late Than Never” is mandatory listening and stands as a solid addition to any album collection.
After studying classical violin at the Paris Conservatory, Jean Luc Ponty first turned to jazz in the 1960’s while still in his early 20’s. Having also worked with the likes of Elton John, and Quincy Jones, not to mention Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea and Al Di Meola, the 74 year old Ponty has also toured and recorded with Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention and John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra.
After starting a stretch of 12 consecutive albums that all reached the top 5 of the Billboard jazz charts while each selling over a million copies during his Atlantic years, Ponty is the truly a founding father of the Jazz-Rock era. In 2011 Ponty joined the mythical American group “Return To Forever IV” with Corea, Clarke, Lenny White and Frank Gambale for a world tour that spanned 5 continents.
Both tickets and additional information for the 8pm Regency Ballroom show are available here at www.theregencyballroom.com/events/detail/330033. Ponty will also be following his Regency show with a performance at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz the following night.