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"Father John"

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He is considered one of the worldís finest Jazz Composers, Lyricists, and Pianists. This reigning "Lord of the Keyboard." recently returned from a triumphant week in Europe where he astounded and enthralled audiences of 300 to 400 a night. His long-time notable bassist, Kenny Davis, and the outstanding jazz chanteuse Ella Csircsu accompanied him. He was well received by the European press and broadcasting media. "Father John" was chosen as (10/13//95) Jazz Instrumentalist of the week on BET's Jazz Discoveries, as well as National airplay on BETís Jazz TV Station. "Father John" was a 1989 recipient of the John Coltrane Award for Outstanding Achievement in Jazz, and was a featured artist in the National Public Radio's "At the Bride" series 1989-1990. He is an active board member of the Trane Stop Resource Institute (John Coltrane). July 1994, "Father John" was distinguished with a biographical segment  "The Jazz Man," that aired on Larry Kane's "The Bulletin" (KYW-TV,)
"Father John" has been playing classical piano since he was six years old. Rock & Roll from 16 to 19 and jazz since he was 17. When "Father John" was 19 he made the decision to enter St. Charles Seminary, placing his jazz career on hold. He continued his love of music at St. Charles by conducting and arranging for the Borromeans Chorus, and by playing the part of Howard Hill in the Seminary's production of "The Music Man."  While he was a practicing priest he renewed his studies in jazz piano.  A career decision had to be made. "Father John," at the age of 29, traded in his pulpit for a piano.
 Since then, "Father John" has performed with major Jazz Greats: Lionel Hamptom, vocalist Etta Jones, bassist Charles Fambrough, and saxophonists, Jimmy Oliver, Bootsie Barnes, and Lou Tobakin. The great drummer, "Philly Joe" Jones, was a featured member of The "Father John" D'Amico Trio.
 The Trio has performed at the West End Cafe, and the Village Gate in New York City, and all of the well-known clubs and major hotels of Philadelphia and the surrounding area. "Father John" D'Amico has been featured as a solo performer, as well as with his Trio, on the major Philadelphia Television Stationsí morning and Sunday shows, and Public Television.
 He performed for "Spotlight", produced by Public Television, featuring a medley of music written by Philadelphian, Joe Burke.  "Father John" has performed and composed for several independent films and documentaries produced by local film makers, and production companies.  Shirley Road Productionsí, "Waterfront Philadelphia," WHYY was aired January 4, 1994 with original compositions by Father John, and used a new compositions "Voyaging Home" in a new 1999 documentary "Aid to Friends."
  He has also had numerous concerts broadcast live on radio stations WRTI, WHYY, and WPEN. He has participated in several Philadelphia area based Jazz Vespers, including Old Pine, and Haddonfield Presbyterian and The Philadelphia Art Museum's Wednesday evening series.  He is no stranger to the Presidential Jazz Weekend (PECO Jazz Weekend) or the Mellon Jazz Festival.
 "Father John" has been the subject for many newspaper articles in the tri state area in the last fifteen years. Nels Nelson interviewed him in a 1985 two page Sunday Inquirer feature. The most recent being "Wineryís jazz strikes mellow note, The former priest on the keys hadnít strayed that far from his roots." Anne Bernard, The Inquirer, Sept. 3 1996, and "One of Us" the Daily News September 1993.
 In 1993 the "Father John" DíAmico Trio was the first group outside the classical venue to perform at the highly acclaimed Woodmere Art Museum series "Music at an Exhibition".  The concert was such a success that they were immediately asked to return in April 1994.
 In 1975 the Painted Bride Art Center commissioned a Jazz Mass, which "Father John" composed and performed with his trio and Father MacNamee. Since then the Painted Bride Art Center has hosted numerous concerts for "Father John," which always debuted his original compositions. So it was only natural to record his debut album "Live at the Painted Bride." The second recording, "Street Blues," a CD, is a compilation of Concerts performed at the Painted Bride and Tyler School of Art. Local singers of note have recorded several of his songs. "Carino", (Barbara Montgomery, "Barbara Montgomery", 1994-Mr. Bean Bumpy Music, Inc.) "Danielís Song" and "Josephine,"  (Ella Csircsu, "Rare Breed", 1995-Csircsu Productions)
            As a priest, and even today as a social worker and a probation officer "Father John" has been involved with the Latin Community.  He speaks fluent Spanish and loves the Latin Culture.  One of his endeavors reflects the Latin influence on his music, (His Latin Jazz Orchestra,) WRTI Live at the Nite Owl Broadcast, 1990. He also has written a musical "Danielís Song," semi biographical with artistic liberty, that has a Latin Jazz or pop flavor.
            His third CD, "Darius Walk" is a father's loving tribute to his first born son. As he pursued the process of organizing this CD, he realized how felicitous the titles of the compositions and their musical substance reflected moments that he and his family have shared in Darius' life; from the love that created him to hopes and dreams, his first steps, the tribulations of stepping aside and letting go, and standing behind him when he needed love and support.
           

 "Father Johnís" latest CD, "Father John and his Ladies," is a compilation of original music and standards accompanied by three distinct "Divas" from the East Coast. This unique album is a step away from the traditional instrumental emphasis of "Father Johnís" music focusing on outstanding performances from all Philadelphia born artists.
            

He is a consummate musician and composer whose style contains elements of Count Basie, Bill Evans, and early Keith Jarret, but he is definitely his own man.  He has one of the lightest fingered styles and plays the tightest standard cool keys around. . .  He doesn't let technique get in the way of style.  No ego trips for "Father John," he loves what he performs. . .Jazz! It is indisputably classic trio jazz, and he and his trio do it exceedingly well.

          Discography: "Live at the Painted Bride"-1986-LP Re-release-1999-CD, EAR-1006: Kenny Davis, bass & Larry DiTommaso, drums, and "Street Blues"-1988-89-CD & Cassette-EAR 1010, Re-release-1999: Kenny Davis, bass & Ron DiStefano, drums (Encounter Audiophile Records Services) and "Rare Breed"-1995-96 Ella Csircsu, CD & Cassette-CP1122 (Csircsu Productions) "Darius Walk" "Father John" DíAmico Enterprises-1999 ≠ Kenny Davis, bass & Butch Reed & Ron DiStefano drums. "Father John and his Ladies" ≠2000-CD (Lady Day International) LDI- 1001, Kenny Davis, bass & Butch Reed, drums, and vocalists Ella Csircsu, Miss Justine, and Zan Gardner. "Dakini Land" Barbara Montgomery January 2001.

Web site: http://www.voicenet.com/~damico/fatherJohns.html

Click here for his venues: fj_venue.htm

 
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