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10:52AM

"FATHER JOHN" D'AMICO - Jazz Pianist - SPOTLIGHT #5

The city of Philadelphia known as “The City of Brotherly Love” has a record of accomplishments to being a melting pot for entertainment celebrities from the South Philly section The Italian Market located on 9th street between Tasker thru Lombard Sts. This location featured Sylvester Stallone's “Rocky” movie. The depiction was Stallone training and running thru this South Philly neighborhood . . . along the riverside of Penn’s Landing and finishing at the Art Museum Steps.  
Philadelphia’s contribution to the music world has always been Opera, small music combos, rock & roll, and Jazz. Bob Horn hosted the local TV dance show “Original Bandstand” and later Dick Clark hosted the national version of American Bandstand. These shows plus various nightclubs within the Philadelphia area such as The Latin Casino, Palumbo’s Restaurant Café owned by Frank Palumbo featured Frank Sinatra, Patti Page, The Four Aces, Johnny Ray, Perry Como, Eddie Fisher, Louis Prima plus many Big Bands and popular headline recording acts that were on the top 10 list of the Billboard Charts.  
Back in the mid-1980s, returning to the Philadelphia area from a business trip to Florida, as a promotion endeavor, I decided to contact a group of my talented musician friends; it was time to pay tribute to various local Philadelphia Jazz musicians that have deserved recognitions for their talents over the years. With this in mind, I had the opportunity to contact and work with a group of musician friends from the Philadelphia area. A live recording date scheduled at a leading center city Jazz club was the location in the heart of Philadelphia. The participating musicians were close friends that agreed to perform as part of this proposed album called “All That Live Jazz.”
Highlighting the musical styles of Jazz of four prominent Jazz groups was a success. The featured groups were ACT-IV lead by saxophonist Joe Fortunato, featuring a young organist Joey DeFrancesco, plus the famed jazz guitarist Eddie McFadden, the “Father John” D’Amico Trio, The Bunch Hammond Quintet, and saxophonist Ray Fern and his Quintet. 
With the added cooperation from pianist, “Father “John D’Amico he was able to make arrangements for interviews at Temple University’s radio station “Jazz WRTI.” In addition, his wife Kathy D’Amico was very instrumental in contacting a long list of loyal jazz fans and friends, which made this evening of Jazz a success.

 

 

It is a little known fact:
At the age of 6 years old, "Father John" began playing classical piano. As a teenager, he played the sounds of commercial rock & roll and predominantly Jazz. The decision of placing his jazz career on hold was to enter St. Charles Seminary to become an ordained Priest. While he was a practicing Priest, he renewed his studies in jazz piano. At the age of 29 another career decision had to be made, "Father John" traded in his pulpit for a piano.
“Father John" is considered one of the world's finest jazz composers, lyricists, and pianists who has performed at many of Philadelphia's best-known clubs and major venues throughout the Delaware Valley. He has been featured on National Public Radio and has played with a long list of jazz greats: Lionel Hampton, vocalist Etta Jones, bassist Charles Fambrough, and saxophonists Jimmy Oliver, Bootsie Barnes, and Lou Tobakin, and percussionist Doc Gibbs. The great drummer, "Philly Joe" Jones, was a featured member of The "Father John" D'Amico Trio.  This reigning "Lord of the Keyboard." was chosen as (10/13//95) Jazz Instrumentalist of the week on BET's Jazz Discoveries, as well as National airplay on BET's Jazz TV Station. "Father John" was a 1989 recipient of the John Coltrane Award for Outstanding Achievement in Jazz, and was a featured artist in the National Public Radio's "At the Bride" series 1989-1990. July 1994, "Father John" was distinguished with a biographical segment "The Jazz Man," that aired on Larry Kane's "The Bulletin" (KYW-TV)
In the recent past, The "Father John" Trio has returned from a triumphant week in Europe where they astounded and enthralled audiences of 300 to 400 a night. They were well received by the European press and broadcasting media. His trio has also had numerous live radio concert broadcast on stations WRTI, WHYY, and WPEN. 
Currently, “Father John” is the house pianist along with “Big Jim” Dofton, on drums and bassist Kenny Davis at the popular  23rd St. Jazz Café located at 233 North 23 Street in Philadelphia.  The 23rd ST. Café has been featuring Jam Sessions since 1988 and 100's of musicians and vocalists have sat in from around the world.
* The night of November 22, 2011 *
“Father John” was very influential along with the cooperation of “Big Jim” manager of 23rd St. Café in promoting a Memorial Tribute for our mutual friend Joe Fortunato who died on October 28, 2011.
One of the tunes “Father John” played appropriately enough was "Killer Joe."  - As “Father John” said . . .  “It was sweet playing in memory of Joe and paying tribute to him and to his family.”
“Father John” . . . as a friend I personally would like to say Thank You for the tribute. 
There is more information about my friend “Father John D’Amico” please visit the following links. Email Address: fatherjohn.damico@verizon.net

 http://www.myspace.com/fatherjohndamicotrio             http://mysite.verizon.net/vze1r04a/index.html

         

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Reader Comments (2)

It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform Johns Friends, Family, and the Jazz Community of his passing to that big Jazz Jam in the sky. Thank you for your wonderful music Father John D'Amico we will cherish it and you forever.
November 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen D'Amico
Kathy,
Just received the news about John. He was a gentlemen and a true professional

Hope you are doing well

Take care,

Danny Luciano
November 6, 2013 | Registered CommenterDanny Luciano

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