Over two evenings, on June 8 and 9, Jeff Beck will be at Manhattan’s Iridium jazz club, paying homage to one of the greats during “A Celebration of Les Paul.” As the event’s title suggests, the shows will honor the late guitarist Les Paul, whose 95th birthday would have been June 9. They will take place in the very venue where Paul played weekly for years, including just days before his death. Beck is honored to pay tribute to his mentor and friend, their relationship having spanned decades. Beck recalls his admiration beginning in the ’60s. “When I first heard Les Paul playing ‘How High the Moon,’ I thought, man, that’s what I want my sound to be like,” Beck says. “Now, here I am years later and he’s still a powerful influence in all that I do.”
The two shows promise to be a treat for fans of both Beck and Paul, with a strong mixture of memorable Les Paul classics, as well as some rockabilly favorites. Beck will be joined onstage by the Irish rockabilly sensation the Imelda May Band.
Les Paul played at the Iridium for over 12 years. The club now presents special Monday evenings dedicated to Paul featuring guitarists from all genres of music, where 20 per cent of the door is donated to The Les Paul Foundation.
The second leg of Beck’s current Emotion & Commotion U.S. tour begins in Boston on June 3, and includes a stop at this year’s Bonnaroo Festival and an appearance at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival. Beck will continue to be accompanied by his new touring band, which includes drummer Narada Michael Walden, bassist Rhonda Smith and keyboardist Jason Rebello.