For more than five decades, Chuck Mangione's love affair with music has been characterized by his boundless energy, unabashed enthusiasm, and pure joy that radiates from the stage.
Mangione first attracted attention with his brother, Gap, in a mainstream jazz band, The Jazz Brothers, in which he played trumpet much like that of the man who he refers to as his musical father-Dizzy Gillespie. In fact Dizzy gave Chuck an 'updo' horn just like his own.
Chuck's years with the Jazz Brothers overlapped with his attending the Eastman School of Music and eventually resulted in his solo album debut. Chuck left home to play with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, assuming the trumpet chair that had belonged to such great players as Clifford Brown, Kenny Dorham, Bill Hardman, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard.
Another important step in Mangione's career development was his return to the Eastman School of Music as director of the school's Jazz Ensemble. His Friends & Love concert with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra was recorded live and featured Hill Where the Lord Hides. This led to a recording contract with a major label, Mercury records, and his first Grammy nomination.
Those early years with Mercury culminated in the title tune of one of Mangione's most popular albums. Land of Make Believe, another Grammy nominee, Mangione then signed with A&M Records and delivered two extremely successful releases in one year, Chase The Clouds Away, which was used as background music during the telecast of the 1976 Olympic Games; and Bellavia (beautiful way), named to honor his mother, which won Mangione his first Grammy award.