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Johnny Varro

Johnny Varro (born 1930) is a pianist with roots in the swing style of jazz. He is also a leader and arranger. Varro was born in Brooklyn, New York. He began studying piano at the age of ten. During his teenage years he was introduced to jazz by way of the Commodore Music Shop in New York City. There he met the manager Jack Crystal (father of Billy Crystal), who was running jam sessions on the Lower East Side. At these sessions Johnny met some of the greatest players of the era, such as Willie “The Lion” Smith, Big Sid Catlett, Joe Thomas, Hot Lips Page, Joe Sullivan, Pete Brown and others. The experience of sitting in for Joe Sullivan and Willie “The Lion” Smith was invaluable and soon allowed Johnny to become a hired player.

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From Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes: “Pianist Johnny Varro seems most at home in obscure jazz material - not only 50 or more years old, but in some cases, obscure even when it was first performed. Such was the case with more than half of the compositions he presented Monday night, November 11, with the Florida edition of his Swing 7 band at the Charlotte County Jazz Society concert series...Give Varro, house pianist at Eddie Condon's in New York back in the day, extra credit for avoiding tired material.”

Albums

Two Legends of Jazz
Two Legends of Jazz
Arbors Records
2009
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