John Carlini is an American Grammy nominated[1] jazz guitarist and arranger based in New Jersey[2] notable for blending bluegrass and jazz. He has performed with David Grisman,[3] mandolin player Don Stiernberg,[4] singer Bill Robinson,[5][6] Bucky Pizzarelli,[6] Rio Clemente,[6] flatpicking guitarist Tony Rice,[7] and many others. He is an orchestrator, conductor, and five-string banjo player, and composes using the piano. He formed the John Carlini Trio in 2000.[1]





Mr. Carlini's father was a violinist for the New York Philharmonic and his mother was a concert pianist. Mr. Carlini served in the United States Navy and later enrolled in the Berklee College of Music[1] in Boston. He formed a friendship with David Grisman and was the musical director for Mr. Grisman's Quartet.[1] He appeared in the movie King of the Gypsies as a guitarist with violinist Stephane Grappelli. He toured eight seasons as musical director for the Ice Capades.[1] He orchestrated an off-Broadway musical entitled Song of Singapore. He's worked with mandolinist and guitarist Todd Collins to create a jazz-bluegrass hybrid sound in their group called Over the Edge. In addition, Mr. Carlini has played with the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble,[1] and was nominated in two categories for the 1997 Nashville Music Awards. At present, he plays with the John Carlini Quartet.[1] He has been a resident of Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.[8]

Music reviews[]

All About Jazz music reviewer C. Michael Bailey wrote that he had "considerable guitar skills"[9] and music critic Ronnie Lankford in All Music Guide wrote that his River Suite for Two Guitars, in which Mr. Carlini performed with flatpicking star Tony Rice, was "amazing how much lead work these two guitarists can fit into a two-minute song like Banister River".[10] Critic Roman St. James in JazzReview.com wrote that Carlini and his band combine "the best elements of both jazz and bluegrass music" and that the "unlikely pairing" works well.[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "John Carlini plays Thursdays". Independent Press. May 19, 2009,. http://www.nj.com/independentpress/index.ssf/2009/05/independent_press_prime_time_b_1.html. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  2. "John Carlini fills the house". Independent Press. May 04, 2010. http://www.nj.com/independentpress/index.ssf/2010/05/hickory_tree_chorus_of_new_pro.html. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  3. Ken Dryden (1991). "Dawg '90 - David Grisman". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/album/david-grisman/dawg-90/123081/review#/album/david-grisman/dawg-90/123081/review. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  4. "Around Midnight (song)". all about jazz. September 21st, 2009. http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/showthread.php?p=487225. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  5. "Celebrate the American Songbook and Jazz Month at Fanwood library". Suburban News. April 09, 2009. http://www.nj.com/suburbannews/index.ssf/2009/04/celebrate_the_american_songboo.html. Retrieved 2012-04-25. "...guitarist John Carlini ... and vocalist Bill Robinson..." 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "ON THE TOWNS; GOING OUT". The New York Times. February 13, 2000. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/02/13/nyregion/on-the-towns-going-out.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  7. "The Games Afoot- John Carlini". fgmrecords. 2010-12-01. http://www.fgmrecords.com/artists/John_Carlini.html. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  8. Staff. "Music Best Bets", Courier News (New Jersey), May 8, 2003. Accessed February 27, 2011. "Jazz and progressive bluegrass great John Carlini of Berkeley Heights will perform with his quartet Friday at Watchung Arts Center, 18 Stirling Road."
  9. C. Michael Bailey (music reviewer) (October 5, 2003). "The Game". all about jazz. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=11831. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  10. Ronnie Lankford (1995). "River Suite for Two Guitars". All Music Guide. http://m.billboard.com/album/tony-rice-john-carlini/river-suite-for-two-guitars/167454#/album/tony-rice-john-carlini/river-suite-for-two-guitars/167454/review. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  11. Roman St. James (music reviewer) (2003). "Featured Artist: John Carlini Quartet". jazzreview.com. http://www.jazzreview.com/cdreview.cfm?ID=5558. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 

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