Thriving on a riff.

Photographer: Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

John Pizzarelli, Jazz Guitarist in a Hip-Hop Era

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg View columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He blogs at the Big Picture and is the author of “Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy.”
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This week, in Masters in Business, we speak with jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli.

Pizzarelli has recorded 23 albums and appeared as a session musician or vocalist on hundreds of others. He has recorded jazz standards from the Great American Songbook and has backed or opened for Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Natalie Cole and Rosemary Clooney among others. 

Our conversation discusses how jazz musicians make a living in the age of downloading and hip hop. A large part of the answer is live shows. He also is the author “ World on a String: A Musical Memoir .” Be sure to check out the two songs Pizzarelli plays toward the end of the podcast. All of the musical references, artists and songs in the interview are collected here for you to play as you listen to our conversation.

Listen to the full podcast on iTunesSoundCloud and on Earlier podcasts can be found on iTunes and at

Next week, we speak with Scott Galloway, marketing professor at New York University's Stern School of Business and founder of L2, a digital business intelligence service.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Barry L Ritholtz at

To contact the editor on this story:
James Greiff at