Joe Vento is a Grammy Award winning musician; he began studying violin and Solfeggio at 2 years of age with Professor Bevalaqua and Solfeggio under the guidance of his musicologist father. At age 4 Guido Deiro selected young Jo Jo to study under him. After a brief period Joe’s father turned to Anthony Galla-Rini for Joe’s continuing-studies.
An accelerated student, at age 11, Jo Jo attended Juilliard School of Music on a Scholarship in Piano and Composition and studied with Rosinna Lehvine, then went on to study Musicology and Conducting at New England Conservatory of Music
World’s accordion virtuoso Charles Magnante noticed Joe’s talent and began mentoring him on interpretation, conceptualization, bellow-technique and finger-dexterity/control.
Toward the end of World War II, 18-year-old Joe’s studies were interrupted and inducted into the Army at Camp Roberts, CA was assigned to Special Services Unit U.S. Army Band-and-Orchestra playing viola and piano under Conductor Jack Cathcart, backing guest-artists: Jimmy Durante, Judy Garland, Georgie Jessel, Martha Raye, Bob Hope & etc. in addition to, playing accordion for troops who were preparing to leave Overseas for war. Upon Joe’s Army discharge it was Cathcart (married to Judy Garland’s sister Sue) who introduced Joe to Mickey Whelan music-contractor at MGM Studios in California.
His work during that era was interspersed by playing piano with Count Basie, Charlie Barnett, Nelson Riddle, The Mills Bros, Harry James, Jimmy Dorsey, and, Accordion: either recording-and-or stage shows with Bob Wills, Gene Autry and Spade Cooley Western Bands
Vento went on to ‘free-lance’ at other Major Studios as well including: Universal, Warner Bros, Hal Roach, Republic, and Columbia Pictures, plus several ‘Indies’.
Through his career Joe has made over 1,500 Movie, TV and Stage appearances with such stars as Paul Newman, Burt Reynolds, Liberace, Joan Collins, Elvis, Debbie Reynolds, Rock Hudson, Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Dean Martin, Mario Lanza, Ann-Margret, John Wayne, Robert Wagner, Al Jolson, Leslie Nielson and Frank Sinatra … to name (only) a few.
Among dignitaries he has performed for: Walt Disney, President Truman at the Getty family Estate, at the Whitehouse for President(s) “Ike” Eisenhower and his wife Mamie, Nixon and JFK.
Vento a ‘favorite’ of Howard Hughes performed for many of his private parties as well as for performing at Hughes’ vast Hotel-Casino empire. Other celebrities Joe performed included Lana Turner, Movie-Director John Carradine, Jane Russell, Fisher Family Estate (General Motors Cadillac Body) plus numerous motion picture stars and other ‘notables’.
In 1953, Vento was called-hurriedly by Organist-Artie Dunn to replace ailing Morty Nevins original-accordionist, and Joe became associated with The Three Suns for 53 years.
In 1965, Joe took-over Leadership of ‘The Three Suns’ who have appeared on numerous TV shows including Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show”, Steve Allen, Ed Sullivan, Dinah Shore, Mike Douglas, Kate Smith, and Frankie Yankovic shows, as well as many Jerry Lewis Telethons’. The Three Suns were ‘regulars’ at casinos, conventions, and industrial shows in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Reno, Atlantic City, San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Europe, Asia, and the world-famous ‘Roostertail’ supper club in Detroit.
The Virginian, CHIPS, McHale’s Navy, Kojac, Happy Days, Hawaii-5-0, Peter Gunn, and Trapper John, MD, are but a few of his other TV play credits. Added are Jingles-and-Commercials on Radio: Budwieser; Kelloggs Cereals; Skippy Peanut Butter & etc. …making Joe one of the busiest performers at the time.
Some of Joe’s worldwide appearances include six command performances in the White House; Buckingham Palace; Imperial Palace(s) Tokyo, Japan; and Beijing, China as well as State Dept-sponsored USO Show appearances in Asia, Europe and the Mid-East.
While doing a seven-week tour entertaining the troops in Vietnam, Joe played as many as ten shows a day. In one of those tours wounded by mortar fire while playing on-stage in Vietnam.
After recuperating from his wounds he returned to State-Side and was featured in “An American Profile” story-broadcast during one-of its weekly-series in summer-1967 entitled: “Wounded Accordion.”
Joe Vento, along with Bob Hope and Steve Allen was also featured on ABC TV’s “Martha Raye Special” addressing some of her cute zany-antics on USO Over-Seas Tours.
Joe has been conductor for many performers including Victor Borge, Nelson Eddy, and several Broadway shows on cruise ships worldwide and, until 2004 he appeared regularly at the Paris and The Venetian Resort Hotels in Las Vegas.
Of special-note: every Wednesday night he conducts the “Joe Vento All-Star Jazz/Band Orchestra” at Las Hadas Restaurant, Northridge CA which initially started out with veterans from the ”Tonight Show” band, like Conti Candoli, Bob Cooper & John Newsome (not to be confused with Tommy Newsome …both fine saxophonists) who have passed-on. The band is now enjoying its 20th year/(+) tenure at Las Hadas, Northridge CA, 818-892-7272 ask for proprietor ‘Dee’.
Other highlights of Joe’s career include performing as guest-pianist with the ‘Count’ Basie Band at the Sahara Hotel Casino in Las Vegas-and-WGN-TV Chicago; also featured on-stage on accordion accompanying Nat ‘King’ Cole on several tunes including “A Blossom Fell” at Harrah’s Club in Lake Tahoe. Although Vento plays some 60 instruments, he predominantly plays the piano, accordion, and organ.
In movies Joe performs as an actor in character with a musical connection: band leader, band member, or strolling musician; he also has scored music for films and TV Shows: KOJAK, CHIPS, Mr. Lucky, Peter Gunn, B J and The Bear, Black Widow, Sheriff Lobo, I Had Three Wives, Hawaiian Eye, Moonlighting, & etc etc.
A cross-section of some of his Movies include: ’10’, Ice Palace, Man’s Favorite Sport, 10,000 Bedrooms, True Friends, Sincerely Yours, Helen Morgan Story, Song Without End, Counter Point, Man Called Gannon, Perils of Pauline, Brass Bottle, Guide to A Married Man, Opposite Sex, Man In A Gray Flannel Suit, Ask Any Girl, This Earth Is Mine, Edge of Eternity, Girl’s Town, Don’t Knock The Rock, Teen Age Story, The Great Caruso, Ben Hur, Vendetta, Who Was That Lady, Young Philadelphians, Moment to Moment, The Competition, Serenade (with Mario Lanza), and others too numerous to mention.
After 32 years on the RCA Victor Label, Joe has entered the CD world with his release on the Surfside Label entitled “Joe Vento’s Golden Hits, Volume I” featuring one of his own compositions, “There’s A Lonelier One Than You”, Volume II includes more of Joe’s compositions: “A Bye Bye,” “Marianinho,” and “I Can’t Forget”; Bells Of Christmas, The Best Of Joe Vento, His LPs are all hard to get collectors items, luckily the masters survived for most of them, and his CD-List includes:
Artistry of Joe Vento & Christmas Bonus;
Joe Vento Greatest Hits, Vol. I;
Joe Vento Greatest Hits, Vol. II & Big Band Blues;
Joe Vento: Classical & Latin Jazz;
Joe Vento & The Three Suns: Twilight Memories & Dancing On A Cloud;
Joe Vento & The Three Suns: Soft And Sweet & Love In The Afternoon;
Joe Vento & The Three Suns: Warm And Tender & Stereo In Action;
Joe Vento & The Three Suns: On A Magic Carpet & Hi Fi And Wide;
French Holiday With Joe Vento;
Joe Vento Golden Years (MP3 Format 103 Tunes);
Everything Under The Sun, and, Let’s Dance, Joe Vento and The 3 Suns;
Eclectic Joe Vento Vol. I;
Eclectic Joe Vento Vol. II;
Everthing Under The Sun / Let’s Dance: Joe Vento and The 3 Suns;
Joe Vento Golden Years;
Malaguena In Orbit; Joe Vento
DVD: Joe Vento Big Band Torrance Symphony Concert;
Soon to bereleased Three more DVD’s of ‘Joe Vento Big Band All Stars’ live performance(s);
If interested, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Dr Joe Vento
1314 So 5th Place
Las Vegas NV 89104-1409
Joe Vento is a consummate musician, full of energy, excitement and wisdom. His travels take him across America doing either Accordion Solo Concerts or on the Piano and has performed the last three seasons at the annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention conducting master classes on bellow technique, phrasing in engendering various styles of music-genre from classical, ethnic, latin/jazz to avant-garde.
Joe Vento, of motion picture, television & recording fame, does more than just play the organ, piano or accordion. A New York Times commentary indicated ”he literally makes these instruments talk with music along with a light touch of comedy and vocals, presented with great skill and excellent taste”. In the meantime, there are many smiles to win, spirits to lift, and dancers to exercise – all to the fabulous music by legendary Joe Vento.
Joe Vento is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (Grammys), American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Recording Musicians Association (RMA), American Society of Music Arrangers & Composers (ASMAC), American Federation of Musicians, Union of Concerned Scientists, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Cd’r: Disabled American Veterans, American Academy Advanced Sciences.
His compositions and arrangements will make a great addition to your music library and his CD’s are a musical must to listen to. A feature-story documentary video reviewing his musical life and performances is forthcoming in a soon-to-be video release.