Personal Photo Gallery

During my career I have been fortunate to spend some memorable moments with some incredible musicians.

I thought you would enjoy seeing some photos of these experiences.

Thanks for visiting and please do check back often as new shots will be added periodically.


John C

P.S. Clicking on any photo will render it in its actual size.

Bill Leavitt


Bill was the chairman of the guitar department at the Berklee College of Music for many years. He is the author of the 3-volume guitar course, “A Modern Method for Guitar”.


I had the honor of studying with Bill while I was a student at Berklee. He was a gracious and inspired teacher, friend, and mentor. Though he chaired a department that often exceeded 1,000 students, Bill was never too busy to answer a question or address a problem.


I remember him fondly.


You can read about John's memories of Bill Leavitt in

John's Journal. 





Guitar Summit


Held at the Grand Summit Hotel, Summit New Jersey.



Clockwise from John are 3 of the greatest guitarists on earth, John Pisano, Howard Alden, and Gene Bertoncini.


What a thrill!



Gary Burton at Birdland

I have been a huge fan of vibes player, Gary Burton, for his entire career and have seen him perform live many times. I was fortunate enough to have studied with Gary at Berklee.

He is always gracious and takes the time to have a brief discussion whenever I see him. This photo was taken before he retired, during his "farewell tour", at the iconic jazz club, Birdland, in NYC.

(Photo by a kind patron at Birdland)



City Winery in NYC


David Grisman performed with the incredible Scottish jazz guitarist, Martin Taylor(L), and David's son, Sam, on bass.

 I joined them to jam on a few tunes!



A Brief History of John and Dawg!


John Carlini and acoustic music innovator, David Grisman, share a long history of musical collaboration and friendship. Here they reunite in NYC in April of 2011.

John was the guitarist/arranger in the Great American Music Band, replacing guitarist, Jerry Garcia.


Arguably, that was the first "Dawg" band.


He was also the guitarist in the David Grisman Quintet on the Grammy-nominated recording, "Dawg 90" completing a tour with the band at Carnegie Hall.

As arranger/orchestrator John worked with David on Mondo Mando with the string quartet, Kronos, Dawg Jazz with the Tonight Show Band, Back to Back with Jethro Burns and Tiny Moore, and the DeLaurentiis film,King of the Gypsies, featuring legendary jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli.




Don Stiernberg in NYC


Don and I pratice a few conducting "moves" across the street from Carnegie Hall where Don performed in the mandolin section of the Chicago Symphony for a thrilling and rare performance of Verdi's opera, Otello. (cond. Carlo Muti).


Swing Trio


This photo was taken during a performance at Shanghai Jazz in Madison, NJ. When you’re working with this caliber of musician, every night is a great night!


l to r: Brian Glassman, Don Stiernberg, John Carlini.



John Carlini and Carlo Aonzo


It's always a fabulous experience to play with the incredible mandolinist, Carlo Aonzo, from Savona, Italy.


Here we performed at the beautiful Highlawn Pavillion, in West Orange, NJ, overlooking the Manhattan skyline. One of the pieces Carlo and I played was a movement from a Bach French Suite.


I was so terrified I practiced for a week straight.


For Carlo… "is no problem".


Tony Rice and John Carlini


Tony and I are each playing his incredible Martin guitar, previously owned by acoustic guitar legend, Clarence White. The year was... oh, let's say 1994, as Tony and I were rehearsing for our recording, "River Suite for 2 Guitars".

Steve Freeman

Steve and I played many guitar/bass duo gigs together and it was always a creative musical experience.


A member of the elite class of top NY-area acoustic bassists, Steve was a multi-talented musician and a brilliant "class act" of a person. 


We all miss you, Steve!


Beppe Gambetta and John Carlini


Here is the great Genovese acoustic flat-picking guitarist, Beppe Gambetta. Beppe and I were on the faculty of Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Camp for nine seasons. Whenever we get together it always creates wonderful memories.


If Beppe is performing in your area, you MUST go see him!



Carlo Aonzo Trio


It was a great night of music at Trumpet's Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ with the amazing

Italian mandolinist and his hot new trio.


Carlo's unique blend of classical, swing, and traditional Italian music had the club enchanted. I was very happy to have a chance to "sit in"!


(l to r: Lorenzo Piccone, John, Carlo, Luciano Puppo)

Surprise Visitor!

Legendary acoustic guitarist, Tony Rice, dropped by John's home for a visit in between tour dates. On the left is world-class guitar technician, Peter Becker.

Photo by Terry Carlini

Photo by Terry Carlini

Dan Miller


Dan was the publisher/founder of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine for which I had a column for almost 20 years.

A compilation of my column, Taking It to the Next Level, will be published and available in the near future.


Some of you may be unaware that Dan was a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps for 14 years!


Baseball Break


(l to R) Life-time Cubs fans, Blue Night Records President, Steven Briggs, mandolinist, Don Stiernberg, recording engineer, Steve Rashid, and life-time Yankee fan, John C. take a break at Chicago’s revered Wrigley Field between recording sessions for their all-Gershwin CD, “By George”.

John Carlini and Enrique Coria


Here are two former guitarists with The David Grisman Quintet!


Enrique was with the group for many years. He is a beautiful player whose talents are amply displayed on his recordings for Acoustic Disc. He is a musician with a distinctive Argentinean flair!

Federico DeLaurentiis and John Carlini


This is a rare photo of Federico, son of Dino DeLaurentiis, during the production of the film, “King of the Gypsies”.


I was very fortunate to have been able to spend a lot of time with Federico. He was an incredibly gifted and insightful film producer.


Tragically, he was killed in a plane collision over Alaska in 1981.

Photo by Jack Triolo

John Carlini and Bill Keith

Here I am with one of my musical heroes, banjo innovator, Bill Keith.

As a teenager, I was “bitten” by the bluegrass banjo “bug” and pursued the styling of the great Earl Scruggs.

When I heard Bill play at a festival, my head nearly fell off my shoulders! He helped me on the banjo tremendously and we have done some playing over the years.

Here we are at the Steve Kaufman Kamp in Maryville, TN.

Louise Trotter and John Carlini


Houston-based, Louise Trotter, is a fantastic harpist who specializes in Country and Western music and also plays brilliant classical and show tunes.


After having played several concerts together Louise asked me to play on her recording, “Fly Me To The Moon”.


How could I resist?

Photo by Terry Carlini

The John Carlini Quartet

at The Red Bank Jazz Festival

Here I am with drummer, Steve Johns, tenor sax player, Jim Pellegrino, and bassist, Steve Freeman at this great NJ Shore venue.

Jim and I play lots of gigs together and spend time afterwards talking about the greats… Coltrane, Miles, Monk, Bill Evans…

John Carlini and Stephane Grappelli


Backstage at The Blue Note in New York City.


What can I say?

I’m awestruck!!

On the Set of "King of the Gypsies"


L to R: John Carlini, Stephane Grappelli, Buell Niedlinger, Diz Dizley 

The Gypsy Band

This is the soundtrack band from the film, "King of the Gypsies".

We recorded David Grisman's great score, but unfortunately, the recording was never released. I wrote the orchestrations and arrangements.

From left to right (hold on!), Andy Statman, Stephane Grappelli, Diz Disley (seated), John Carlini, Ray Brown(!), Federico DeLaurentiis, David Grisman, Bill Wolf (sound engineer), and Tony Rice! Wow!! 

Tex Logan Retirement Party

After more than three decades of brilliant work at the Bell Labs research facility in Murray Hill, New Jersey, Tex said to me,  "John, I want to show these folks how to party. Let's put a bluegrass band together".

L to R: Bernie Coveney, Todd Collins, Jim Baldessari,

Dr. Benjamin 'Tex' Logan, John Carlini, Greg Cohen,

Barry Mitterhoff.


Tony Mottola

In the middle is a guitar icon/hero, Tony Mottola.

On the right is jazz guitarist, Eddy Berg.

Eddy brought me over to Tony’s house and introduced us.

What a thrill!


Here is NJ bluegrass mandolinist, Mike Madan and, yes, in the middle is the great Vassar Clements, with “yours truly” on the 5-string.

Chuck Slate Quartet


Members of the Chuck Slate Dixieland Quartet are (left to right) Dave Hanright (trumpet), John Carlini, (guitar), Chuck Slate (drums), and Jim Andrews (piano).


When I came off the road after 8 years with the Ice Capades, Chuck hired me and we played many gigs together.


Those guys know the tunes and they know the right changes and melodies.


I “went to school” on them and learned all over again!

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