Jerry Topinka | Guitarist | Composer | Producer | Instructor
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Jerry Topinka
biography

Jerry Topinka's CD of original compositions called Summer Nights demonstrates his melodic and intricate playing style. The CD's stellar array of musicians and the songs' masterful arrangements have garnered rave reviews from around the world.

"Superbly crafted and brilliant work...there is no substitute for class." (John Reid, 102.8 FM, Keith, Banffshire, Scotland)

"A truly wonderful, lively album of very cool jazz" (Peter Merrett, PBS 106.7-FM, Melbourne, Australia)

Jerry began playing guitar in May 1954, quickly displaying a passion for the instrument. Jerry studied with two of the top guitarists of the time - Al Caiola and Joe Cinderella. At the age of 16, Jerry began playing professionally and in 1964 was a featured jazz guitarist in a Bergen County nightclub. Les Paul stopped by on many Saturday nights to hear Jerry play. Today, Jerry's venues range from intimate jazz clubs to major corporate fund-raising events, plus special guest appearances with his long-time friend, Les Paul, at the Iridium in NYC.

In the 1970s, Jerry toured the country playing alongside stars such as Buddy Rich and Gloria Gaynor. His group performed in the top Las Vegas clubs - the Stardust, Hilton, Aladdin, and Sands. Jerry accompanied Stephanie Mills and recorded a duet of "Danny Boy" with Al Green. He toured extensively with the band Chailo, whose 1978 song "Joanie" received significant radio play leading to an enthusiastic write-up of the band in Billboard magazine. Along with a busy performing schedule, Jerry did studio work in the 1970s for the CBS network with producer Artie Shreck, playing on commercials for Ford Motor Company and Comet Cleanser. Jerry also wrote, produced, and recorded a WABC commercial for Century Hardware.

The album "Wind" by Tchin and Yovani features Jerry's playing on the instrumental "Nostalgia," nominated in 2000 for a Grammy in the Native American category. Jerry engineered and performed on "Kamban Oru Kannile" by Charan and Devan, a CD that achieved gold-level sales in India. Jerry's Indian friends sought him out to tour with, hire, and manage musicians for the 2000 U.S. and Canadian tour of A.R. Rahman, the acclaimed Indian performer and composer who won a 2009 Golden Globe and three Academy Awards for his music in Slum Dog Millionaire. A. R. Rahman also previously collaborated with Michael Jackson and Andrew Lloyd Weber.

Jerry has performed with world-renowned guitarist Martin Taylor at a variety of venues, including The Strand Theater (May 2013), Chico's House of Jazz (June 2011), and the Middletown Arts Center (2008 and 2010). Jerry also opened for David Benoit at the Count Basie Theatre in July 2007 and recently returned from well-received performances in St. Martin/St. Maarten at the elegant La Samanna resort and the eclectic beach club Karacter.

In addition to performing, Jerry also books world-class jazz acts at the Salt Creek Grille in Princeton, New Jersey.