Born: October 26, 1964
Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, John was first a drummer, then a piano player, and didn't add the vibraphone until his late teens when he was inspired by Lionel Hampton recordings. Since then, he has performed alongside world-class musicians at many domestic jazz festivals and jazz parties, and at prestigious venues in Europe. John is recognized by many as one of the most versatile, talented and exciting musicians to come along in quite awhile. John and his quartet play favorites from the songbooks of Terry Gibbs, Milt Jackson, Red Norvo, and Lionel Hampton. He has earned a reputation as the East Coast's premier swing vibraphonist and is now living in California...
— DAVE NATHAN, All About Jazz
John Cocuzzi has got to be the swingingest young vibes player in the country.
Besides having a marvelous ear for harmony, John has fire, enthusiasm, and
speed with the mallets. He also plays fine piano.
— STEVE JORDAN, guitarist, from his book Rhythm Man: 50 Years in Jazz
Vaché and Cocuzzi make for an exciting front line.
— ALISON KERR, Scotland on Sunday
Pianist/vibist John Cocuzzi and drummer Alan Dale believe in yesterday and play
like there's no tomorrow.
— WASHINGTON POST, August 20, 1993
Cocuzzi plays a Forties-era Deagan vibraphone made of steel bars (rather than
the lighter aluminum models that followed), and the thing rings and glows like
nothing we've heard on record.
— FRED KAPLAN, The Absolute Sound
John Cocuzzi really swings!
— ERIC BRACE, Washington Post
This was our first exposure to JOHN COCUZZI, and he really knocked [us] out. He
sang quite well... Cocuzzi plays good drums, too, and his vibraphone work is
— BOB LYNN, The Mississippi Rag
He plays piano and vibes with an effortless, affirmative touch.
— BRET SAUNDERS, Denver Post
It's been my good fortune to have produced jazz concerts involving John
Cocuzzi, and to witness his performances at jazz parties and jazz festivals. In
every instance, he has shown to be the consummate professional. His command
of a vibraphone and piano, as well as being a fine shy-guy vocalist, makes him
a triple-threat musician whose enthusiasm and engaging personality brighten
any room in which he performs. In short, John is the closest to Red Norvo we
have today. And we're lucky to have him.
— CAM MILLER, Freelance Jazz Journalist
The Amercan (monthly); The Californian (30,000 daily); North County Times (100,000 daily)
Alan [Dale] and John [Cocuzzi] have assembled a pure swing group of classic
form that generates a music that is agreeable to everyone, young and old. They
reflect the honesty and purity of good, hard-swinging music. These Gentlemen
of Jazz are both preserving and invigorating what has become a perishable art.
— LOUIS BELLSON, drummmer for Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Woody Herman, and others.
Granite Bay, CA
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.