Danny Luciano

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Philadelphia

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Danny Luciano . . . has created this website to pass the baton in order to inform and educate the future younger generation about this only American Art Form called JAZZ!
I Began my musical career in the mid-fifties playing tenor saxophone with local bands in the area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania . During this time he studied the saxophone with Mike Guerra, the former Granoff Music School teacher, of John Coltrane, Gerry Mulligan, and many others around Philadelphia, he also had his private studio in the Presser Building located 18 th & Chestnut Streets in center city Philadelphia.
Early 1960 - To advance his knowledge in music Danny studied . . . Harmony, Theory, Composition and Arranging at Combs College of Music, with Romeo Cascarino - (best known for his opera about William Penn.)
The early days of rhythm & blues, rock & roll, jazz gave me the opportunity to meet a respected local Philadelphia tenor saxophonist named Joe Fortunato. He not only gave me the necessary guidance and knowledge needed to pursue a musical career in Jazz . . . but most importantly, we became lifelong friends and brothers through the years.
After pursuing his advice, the initial steps of coming-up in the ranks of performing with many small entertaining jazz and rhythm & blues bands, gave me the opportunity to play many venues nationally for more than two decades.
The gained experience, skills and knowledge of the music business has rewarded my friends, colleagues and me to pass-the-baton to younger musicians who are pursuing their future goals in the world of jazz . . . not to forget the masters of the past decades.
Throughout an extensive musical career on the road working various nightclubs and musical lounges I was fortunate to share many experiences with musicians and vocalists that were in the forefront of Mainstream Jazz.
My definition of Mainstream Jazz is a culmination of musical styles from California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas that would let you tap your feet, clap your hands, dance and enjoy the many soloist as Gene Ammons (saxophone) Oscar Peterson (piano), Illinois Jacquet (saxophone), Buck Clayton (trumpet), Sonny Stitt (saxophone) Barney Kessel (guitar), Al Grey (trombone) Count Basie (piano) and many others just to name a few.
Since Philadelphia is a city of musical roots that spans more than a 100 years of various types of music from opera, gospel, soul, rock, R&B, and especially Jazz. The "City of Brotherly Love" was called home for many jazz artists of the past decades. During the 1920's and 30's, Philadelphia's nightlife and club scene was centered around a short distance from center city on South Street. In this area, it was the Dunbar, Lincoln, and the Pearl theaters that were hosting many top names in entertainment.
The Earle Theater once located at the corner of 11th and Market Street . . .This was another famous theater that featured many performers and live bands from Jack Teagarden, Louis Prima, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and many others during it's heyday of the 1940 's plus added first-run movies from the era. Other nightclubs and taverns also played an important part in featuring the top names in jazz from the 1940's until the 1960's.
Being born in Philadelphia . . . at a young age I was fortunate to attend and see shows at the Earle Theater and witnessed the applauding crowds giving standing ovations to the soloists while enjoying the music.
Also as a young man early in my career, I became a member of the Musicians Union Hall - Local 77 that was located at 18th & Arch Streets, and I can recall, at any given time of the week you were able to see and meet fellow members that would be rehearsing or just visiting, looking for prospective work in the area or on the road. Many talented musicians and performers were beginning to get their recognition in the music business playing what I determine as "Mainstream Jazz."
Other meeting places and nightclubs were located in center city the vicinity of 13th & Locust Streets where it was possible to hear Dixieland music at Billy Krechmer's, - Rhythm & Blues, Classic Rock & Roll at the 20th Century Club and Club 13, just a few blocks away in the vicinity of Broad & South Streets - the sounds of other top name Jazz artists played at Pep's Musical Lounge, The Showboat and the Postal Card Cocktail Lounge.
Tenor sax-men Charlie Ventura and Joe Fortunato plus some of their band members always extended a helping-hand of pointers to us young musicians and our earlier bands.
To this day, even though some of us are off the bandstand and active behind-the-scenes. We owe them and other friends who have shared their experiences and help through the years . . . a Special Thank You

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