by R.J. Bianchino
The Jazz Internet
Las Vegas Jazz n' Blues
Boulder Blues Site
Larry Koonse comes from a musical family and has been playing the guitar since age six. When he was 15 he recorded an album with his father entitled "Dave and Larry Koonse: Father and Son Jazz Guitars". Larry attended the University of Southern California where, in 1984, he became the first recipient of a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies.
After graduation he toured extensively as a member of the John Dankworth Quartet, backing up Cleo Laine. He has also toured with Bob Brookmeyer, Terry Gibbs, Wayne Marsh, Mel Torme and was a featured performer with the Percy Faith Orchestra on a tour of Japan. Larry has also worked with Billy Childs, Eddie Daniels, Billy Higgins, Lee Konitz, Terry Trotter, Jimmy Rowles, Bob Sheppard, Charlie Haden, Toots Thielemanns and many others.
Koonse has been a featured soloist with L.A. Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and many other orchestras throughout the United States, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Academy of Music, the Lincoln Center, and the Sydney Opera House.
He was a member of the Los Angeles based Weller Brothers Band and his guitar is featured on their disc "Fire Martians". Currently he is co-leading the Los Angeles Jazz Quartet. The Quartet released "Astarte" in 1994 on Gowi Records out of Poland. Their third disc "Family Song" was released on Not Two Records, also of Poland, in 1998. Naxos Jazz of Finland issued "Look To The East" in 1997, and "Conversation Piece" in 1999. Larry also finds time to teach guitar at the California Institute for the Arts (Cal Arts) in Valencia.
Photography by R.J. Bianchino copyright © 2001-2002 Moondog Productions