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Joey DeFrancesco, Organ

Performed or Recorded With:

Miles Davis
Lee Ritenour
John McGlaughlin
Grover Washington

Featured Artist:

Joey DeFrancesco, Organ

Organist Joey DeFrancesco is regarded by organ aficionados as the baddest B-3 burner in the business (a claim supported by his four consecutive DownBeat Critics Poll awards for 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005).

An important force in the revival of the Hammond B-3 organ as a jazz instrument during the '90s, Joey DeFrancesco's music ran the gamut from soul-jazz and bluesy grooves, a la Jimmy Smith, to hard bop to the more advanced modal style of Coltrane disciple Larry Young. Born in Springfield, PA (near Philadelphia), on April 10, 1971, DeFrancesco was the son of another Philly-area jazz organist, Papa John DeFrancesco, and the grandson of multi-instrumentalist Joe DeFrancesco, who worked with the Dorsey Brothers.

At 16 he was the first recipient of the Philadelphia Jazz Society's McCoy Tyner Scholarship, and was also a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. He met Miles Davis on a local television show and impressed the trumpeter enough that DeFrancesco was invited on tour following his high school graduation in 1988.

DeFrancesco's reputation grew steadily, helped by the fact that as a virtuosic yet vintage-style organist, he was something of an anomaly on the early-'90s jazz scene. His arrival helped revive interest in organ jazz, and he remains one of the most versatile and advanced of the new breed of players; inspired by Davis, he even picked up the trumpet as a second instrument.

DeFrancesco has recorded sets for Muse and Big Mo, and has worked extensively with guitarist John McLaughlin. His appearance on 1994's After the Rain and his subsequent international tour with McLaughlin brought him to a whole new audience.


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