Joey DeFrancesco is an American jazz organist, trumpeter, and vocalist. He is a Grammy-nominated artist who has released more than 30 albums, including recordings with Miles Davis, DeFrancesco was born in 1971 in Springfield, Pennsylvania. He was born into a family that included three generations of jazz musicians. He was named after his grandfather, Joseph DeFrancesco, a musician who played the saxophone. His father, Papa John DeFrancesco, was an organist who played nationally, DeFrancesco began playing the organ at the age of 4 and was playing songs by Jimmy Smith verbatim by the time he was 5. His father John began bringing him to gigs from the age of 5, at the age of 10, DeFrancesco joined a band in Philadelphia that included jazz musicians Hank Mobley and Philly Joe Jones. He was considered a fixture at local clubs, opening shows for Wynton Marsalis. DeFrancesco attended the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, during his high school years, DeFrancesco won numerous awards, including the Philadelphia Jazz Society McCoy Tyner Scholarship. He was also a finalist in the first Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, DeFrancesco was 16 years old when he signed an exclusive recording contract with Columbia Records. The following year he released his first record, titled All of Me and his performance on All of Me has been attributed as helping bring back the organ to jazz music during the 1980s. That same year, DeFrancesco joined Miles Davis and his band on a concert tour in Europe. He followed up with playing keyboard on Davis album Amandla, which reached No.1 on the Contemporary Jazz Albums chart in 1989, DeFrancesco started playing the trumpet around the same time, inspired by the sound of Davis. DeFrancesco was originally spotted by Davis during a performance on the show called Time Out. He was performing on the set along with high school classmate Christian McBride when Davis asked the shows host, whats your organ players name, DeFrancescos recording deal with Columbia include the release of 5 albums. In addition to All of Me, he released Where Were You in 1990, Part III in 1991, Reboppin in 1992, DeFrancesco began touring with his own quartet at the age of 18. In the early 1990s, he began collaborating with John McLaughlin, former guitarist for Miles Davis, at the age of 22, he became a founding member of the group The Free Spirits, along with McLaughlin and drummer Dennis Chambers. He toured with the group for 4 years and was part of several recordings, including the albums Tokyo Live, DeFrancesco is also credited with playing trumpet on the Tokyo Live album. In 1999, DeFrancesco recorded his album Incredible, Live at the San Francisco Jazz Festival
Image: Joey De Francesco on Oran
Joey Defrancesco on the Hammond organ in 2002.
Joey DeFrancesco playing at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam in 2010.