Although still in his mid 20’s, PJ Rasmussen (@PJRasmussenJazz) has headlined a national TV special with special guest Bucky Pizzarelli, been featured on the cover of Hot House Jazz magazine, headlined at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York, and landed two albums on the jazz charts. He believes jazz is music that should make the heart race, the blood pump, and the feet move. Towards that end, Rasmussen founded Boardwalk Jazz, a show built on the simple belief that jazz is music anyone can love. For more on Boardwalk Jazz, including their national Christmas special, click here.
Born in 1990, Rasmussen entered a world where jazz seemed reserved more for intellectuals than real people. Picking up the guitar at age 10, he spent more time learning Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton than working his way through the Real Book. While his passion for rock and blues never waned, his eclectic taste and exploratory spirit never stopped looking for new music to learn; soon enough he was practicing Joe Pass and Yardbird alongside Slowhand, under the watchful eye of Andrew Light. A former student of jazz legend Bucky Pizzarelli, Andrew introduced PJ to the wide world of jazz. Rasmussen never looked back, studying Jazz Performance at William Paterson University. During his time there, Rasmussen studied with guitar masters Paul Meyers and Gene Bertoncini. It was also during his time in school that Rasmussen met, studied, and later performed with mentor Bucky Pizzarelli.
In his three short years since bursting onto the jazz scene with “Adventures and Flight” and his follow up top 20 album “Another Adventure,” PJ Rasmussen has garnered exceptional praise. JazzTimes named Adventures in Flight “one of the best debut releases of 2013,” and All About Jazz declares: “Rasmussen’s arranging is stellar, his horn charts precise and engaging.” AXS named “Another Adventure” one of the top albums to introduce jazz to non-jazz fans, calling the music “approachable, credible, and delightful.”