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Jean-Luc Ponty

Biography

Jazz violin isn't exactly electric guitar, but don't tell Jean-Luc Ponty that. He never saw any reason not to pair wa-wa pedals and Echoplexes with the violin, and as a result he's done more for the stringed instrument than anyone since Stephane Grappelli. A classically trained musician who also played clarinet and tenor sax, Ponty developed a love for jazz that finally forced him to choose between jazz and classical. He chose jazz, and his work on the violin was groundbreaking – he mastered the bebop style and played his instrument as if it were a horn. No one had ever heard anything quite like it. As the 1960s wore on, Ponty branched out into experimental rock and free jazz. He has played with Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and his restless quest for novelty has led him from jazz into country, world music and more.
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