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Jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli dies from coronavirus

Jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli dies from coronavirus
John “Bucky” Pizzarelli was 94. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz, File)

Jazz guitarist John “Bucky” Pizzarelli, who was inducted to the New Jersey Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 94.

The virtuoso, who had played for presidents at the White House during his long and esteemed career, died on Wednesday at his home in Saddle River, New Jersey.

His family told The New York Times they believe the cause of death was the coronavirus. Bergen Record reported that Pizzarelli tested positive for the virus on Sunday.

“There will be some kind of tribute as soon as we can all get within 6 feet of each other,” his son John Pizzarelli, also a renowned jazz artist, told the Bergen Record on Thursday.

Bucky Pizzarelli was born in Paterson, New Jersey, and had a career that spanned eight decades. He showed off his musical chops for former presidents like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton and played alongside musical icons like Frank Sinatra.

“Jazz guitar wouldn’t be what it is today without Bucky Pizzarelli,” said jazz guitarist Frank Vignola. “He and Freddie Green were responsible for a style of rhythm guitar playing that has lasted until 2020.”

Pizzarelli died with his wife Ruth, his son Martin, and his caregiver at his side.