Joey DeFrancesco

Joey DeFrancesco, In Memoriam

Singer, jazz multi-instrumentalist and four-time Grammy Award nominee Joey DeFrancesco has passed away.

The Philadelphia music community was rocked on Thursday when news broke that jazz multi-instrumentalist Joey DeFrancesco had died of a massive heart attack in Canada while preparing for a weekend performance in upstate New York. He was 51 years old.

Joey D was born in Springfield, PA but musically raised in Philadelphia where his roots in Jazz, Blues, and other music forms were forged. He was most famous as an organist, but he also performed as a trumpeter, saxophonist, and singer in addition to his main specialty. He was referred to as having a swinging Philly sound, which he embellished with his own ferocity and improvisation.

Joey DeFrancesco

In addition to more than 30 recordings as a leader, DeFrancesco was a four-time Grammy Award nominee. Besides being nominated for Grammys in 2004, 2010, and 2020, DeFrancesco has won the Down Beat Readers Poll every year since 2005, and the Down Beat Critics Poll nine times. In addition to being named the best B3 player on the planet by JazzTimes, he received numerous accolades for his performances. In 2014, he was inducted into the inaugural Hammond Organ Hall of Fame, and in 2016, he was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Joey DeFrancesco was the best musician his generation has ever produced. The New York Times described DeFrancesco as a “deeply authoritative musician, a master of rhythmic pocket, and of the custom of stomping bass lines beneath chords and riffs.”

Having been raised by an organist, “Papa” John DeFrancesco, the younger DeFrancesco began playing at a young age. As soon as his father began bringing him to gigs, Hank Mobley and Philly Joe Jones quickly recognized his talent and enthusiasm, and they brought him to sit in with them. In addition to learning the trumpet, DeFrancesco was recruited by Miles Davis’ ensemble to tour with it as one of two young trumpet players he hired.

It was DeFrancesco’s emergence in the 1980s that ushered in a musical renaissance. Until DeFrancesco reignited organ jazz with his vintage Hammond organ and Leslie speaker cabinet, organ jazz had nearly gone into hibernation from the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s.

As well as recording and touring with his own groups, Joey DeFrancesco has worked with a number of well-known artists, including Ray Charles, Van Morrison, Diana Krall, Nancy Wilson, George Benson, James Moody, John Scofield, Bobby Hutcherson, Jimmy Cobb, John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell, David Sanborn, and many more.

Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco with Van Morrison

His latest album, More Music, released in late 2021, showcased 10 originals by DeFrancesco, accompanied by a trio of dynamic musicians.

“More music is what’s needed to create positivity and wellness for everybody, regardless of what’s happening in the world,” Joey DeFrancesco stated at the time. “Music just solves a lot of problems. So more live music, more original music – just more music. Without that, we’re in big trouble.”

Joey DeFrancesco

Advertise with dosage MAGAZINE

About Post Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected. Thank you for reading dosage MAGAZINE.