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November 30, 2021
A Longtime Love Affair with Jazz
After arriving in the Valley from NYC in 2002, George Torrella immediately began working at farmers markets and wherever he could sit-in.
“I was 15 when my brother brought the ‘Getz/Gilberto’ album home. I wore it out imagining what it would be like to play jazz in a club. At that time the Beatles were leading the British Invasion and Elvis was taking a back seat to it all. Rock and Roll was reimagining itself as Civil Rights, Vietnam, the birth control pill, and the first video game were shaping our youth…But I was in love and Jazz was it! I decided to focus on Live Jazz and to play ‘Standards’—songs that have been recorded by Jazz greats over the years. Timeless tunes forever identified with The Great American Songbook and serve as reminders of our multicultural roots. I’ve been fortunate over the years to have had the help and guidance of so many wonderful musicians.”
Today, George performs 100+ times each year, working with more than 40 fabulous local musicians in many of the Valley’s restaurants, hotels, and clubs and working weddings, festivals, and private events.
George has been particularly blessed through his association with The Bookstore Speakeasy, an award- winning Jazz venue in South Bethlehem. It is themed as an authentic roaring 20s speakeasy, serving classic cocktails and savory small plates. “The Bookstore provided me with a stage to showcase some of the area’s finest Jazz musicians. I’ve been able to vary ensembles including occasional vocalists and instrumentation ranging from piano, guitar, bass, drums, trombone, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, and percussion. I invite you to come to the Speakeasy and enjoy an authentic Jazz experience.”