Gene DiNovi

Gene (Eugene Salvatore Patrick) Dinovi. Pianist, composer, singer, b Brooklyn, 26 May 1928. He began his career as a teenaged bebop pianist in jazz clubs along New York's fabled 52nd Street and played for several bandleaders (Henry Jerome, Joe Marsala, Boyd Raeburn, Stan Hasselgard, and others) in the late 1940s. He recorded as a sideman to Benny Goodman (for Capitol), Brew Moore (Savoy), Aaron Sachs (Manor), Artie Shaw (Columbia), and Lester Young (Alladin) in this period. A popular accompanist with singers, DiNovi played in the early 1950s for Peggy Lee and Tony Bennett, and 1955-63 for Lena Horne, latterly on an intermittent basis.

While in Los Angeles at mid-decade with Lee, and again while working as a pianist and arranger for TV there during the 1960s, he studied composition and orchestration with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He also studied piano with Jacob Gimpel and conducting and composition with Maria di Bonaventura in Los Angeles during the 1960s. After his first visit to Toronto in 1971 as an accompanist to Carmen McRae, DiNovi made the city his home in 1972.

DiNovi has divided his career there between extended solo piano engagements at several of the city's more exclusive rooms (Charles One at La Scala and, later in later years, lounges at the Royal York, Sutton Place, and Four Seasons hotels) and studio work as an arranger and composer of incidental music, jingles, and film scores.

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