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“Elegant.” “Riveting.” “Soulful.” “Classic mastery.” These are a few of the terms that have been used to describe the unique and stunning swing-jazz music of acoustic guitarist Guy Van Duser and clarinetist Billy Novick.
Together as a duo for more than forty years, Guy and Billy have performed in concerts, clubs and festivals all over North America and Europe. You also may have heard them as frequent guests of the Prairie Home Companion show, NPR’s All Things Considered, or on one one the numerous film and television soundtracks they have been featured on.
Novick’s ever-inventive and soulful clarinet playing provides the ideal complement to Guy’s guitar. With his vast knowledge of the classic jazz era, his dazzling improvising skills, and his entertaining vocals, Novick is able to both add a melodic and dynamic spark to Guy’s guitar . Their music sounds fresh and original, yet is also deeply rooted in the rich legacy of the classic jazz age. The duo can play any piece from their huge repertoire- an obscure Ellington tune, a Gershwin classic, a complex Jelly Roll Morton arrangement, or perhaps one of the their originals- and immediately have it sound their own.
And, my, how they swing! The two of them together can create a pulse as driving as any big band. They have a musical telepathy and understanding that has been honed by more than twenty-five years of playing together, a rhythmic drive that doesn’t quit and a thorough mastery of their instruments. Add to all of this their relaxed and engaging stage manner, and you will be treated to a joyously entertaining and musically enchanting show that, indeed, has already stood the test of time.