Born: October 26, 1964 Primary Instrument: Vibraphone
Swingster John Cocuzzi has New Orleans flavor with East Coast class. With 25 years of professional experience, he plays with passion and intensity on piano, vibes and drums. An intuitive performer, John possesses the proverbial fire in the belly that ignites a crowd as he tells his story with skillful improvisation through high-energy, spirited solos. John swings in any style, from classic jazz and blues to Latin and jump swing; ballads, burners, and blues or boogie-woogie and familiar standards, they're all played in John's dynamic style and diverse rhythms. His innovation breathes new life into old tunes. Smooth or smokin', he livens-up a room, connecting with his audience and adjusting to suit the mood and Let the Good Times Roll. 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, spreading the jazz and swing gospel in the Sacramento area. See photos and learn more about John at his website: http://www.johncocuzzimusic.com/
-- 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 beyond description.
-- 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.
Piano, vibes, and drums - Jazz, Blues, Swing, Boogie-woogie. Available as touring schedule permits.