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Joe Vincent Tranchina, voted Hudson Valley 2010 Jazz Musician of the Year in Times Herald-Record’s annual Best Of readers poll; recognized for the past 17 consecutive years with ASCAPlus awards for “creative contributions to American music” and performances of his original jazz compositions; an Honorable Mention (2nd place) winner of the Women’s Choir Composition Competition, NY Sings: A Composer’s Symposium; and, twice consecutively, honored by the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts “Best of the Bronx” series with concert presentations of his original work, is an established pianist, composer, arranger, and accompanist.
Joe has performed in most of the major jazz and club venues throughout New York City and the surrounding area, including Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (Jazz at Lincoln Center), Birdland, the Oak Room, the Blue Note, the Iridium, the Zinc Bar, the 55 Bar, the Lenox Lounge, Shanghai Jazz and Trumpets. He has also performed in the concert venues of Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Jazz Mobile, among others, and has toured abroad in Germany, Switzerland, Greece, and Japan.
His media appearances include WKCR Radio’s “Som do Brasil” hosted by Jassvan DeLima, WBAI Radio’s “Stolen Moments,” host by Mahmoud Ibrahim; television appearances include FOX News Network’s “Fox and Friends” and the cable access programs of tenor legend Harold Ousley and the colorful drummer Bernice “Boom Boom” Brooks.
The composer, and occasional lyricist, of over 1,000 compositions, Tranchina’s work ranges from straight-ahead, fusion, and Brazilian jazz to new age, world beat, pop and classical. The breadth speaks to his incredible versatility as a musician. He composed the original scores for Barbara Reiter’s documentary Significance, an interesting look at the International Declaration of Human Rights, and Ryoya Terao’s documentary Go Achilles, the PBS aired program concerning the annual marathon for the disabled held in NYC. Apart from writing lyrics for his own compositions, Joe has contributed English lyrics to the compositions of celebrated German composer/big band leader Conny Scheffel.
In addition to his extensive experience as an accompanist for instrumentalists and vocalists, including his wife, Gabriele Tranchina, Joe has frequently accompanied master classes for vocal legends Mark Murphy and Sheila Jordan. He worked for several years as a studio pianist at South Park Recording Studio recording tracks for jingles, educational disks, and dance schools.
On the music educational front, Joe has authored two books on music theory: The Mixed Modal Approach to Contemporary Improvisation: A Handbook for All Instruments (Studio P/R) and Linear and Structural Improvisation in Conjunction with the Overtone Series (Charles Colin). He currently retains the rights to both books.
Joe began his musical studies at the age of nine on accordion; his parents asked him to choose between joining the Boy Scouts and lessons peddled door to door by the local music school. His future held few campfires, but many musical merit badges. At the age of 16, Joe had an epiphany experience, “discovering” Jazz while scanning the radio dial. He was immediately mesmerized by Ella Fitzgerald’s swinging voice, followed directly after by John Coltrane’s tenor saxophone cosmic explorations. The dial remained there. Joe’s life was changed. When a family piano was purchased for the education of a younger sibling, the teenager transferred his musical knowledge to the instrument, at first, without much formal instruction.
Later, Tranchina, obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from Hofstra University, where he studied variously piano, composition and voice. After graduating, he continued his musical studies with famed teacher NBC Studio and jazz pianist Sanford Gold and jazz piano legends Sir Roland Hanna and Harold Mabern; the two taught master classes through Jazz Interactions, an organization sponsoring professional workshops. Tranchina also benefited from ASCAP film and theater scoring workshops with Paul Chihara.
Joe’s musical expressions have clearly been steeped in the vocabulary of bebop, but he remains a daring and sensitive melodist; He is a capable leader as well as a dependable sideman.
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