Jerry Topinka/Sean Connolly
Guitar Duo Sandi Pointe dining room – 9 – 10:15 PM
Jerry Topinka 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.
Sean Connolly became fascinated with guitar at the age of 12. His father (Michael Connolly), a guitar lutheir, handed Sean a Paul Reed Smith and Sean never looked back. Listening to recordings of Jazz legends like Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Johnny Smith fueled Sean’s consumng passion for Jazz improvisation. Today Sean studies with his teacher and mentor, master guitarist Jerry Topinka. Sean is part of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s “Jazz for Teens” program. In 2011, Sean performed on stage with world-renowned Jazz guitarist Martin Taylor.