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The House That Les Built

Iridium Jazz Club pays tribute to the late Les Paul with Monday night performances, dedication ceremony

Martin Taylor

After a residency at New York’s Fat Tuesday’s from 1983 to 1995, Les Paul settled into a new regular playing situation at Iridium nightclub in April 1996. For the next 13 years, the acclaimed guitarist-inventor-entertainer presided over Monday nights at the club, which originally opened in 1996 on 63rd & Amsterdam near Lincoln Center, and subsequently moved to its current midtown location on 51st & Broadway in 2001, shortly before 9/11.

The Wizard of Waukesha-a pioneer in the development of the solidbody electric guitar as well as the inventor of multitrack recording and various studio and guitar effects now regarded as industry standards-last held court at Iridium in June of 2009, before taking ill. Since Paul passed away on Aug. 12 of last year at age 94, Iridium proprietor Ron Sturm has kept Les’ legacy alive through a Monday night guitar series featuring special guests like jazzers Larry Coryell, Pat Martino, Mike Stern, Martin Taylor, Stanley Jordan and Larry Carlton, along with rockers Zakk Wylde (of Ozzy Osbourne fame), Steve Miller, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Vince Martell (of Vanilla Fudge). Each guest performs with Paul’s working trio of guitarist Lou Pallo, pianist John Colianni and bassist Nicki Parrott.

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