Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Decesare, John (Nicholas)
Decesare, John (Nicholas), string bass, electric bass, guitar, keyboards, singer, composer; b. New York City, 10 August 1957. He was raised in Queens county. His parents are Frank DeCesare, b. 2/6/21 in Sliema Malta, and Carmen DeCesare, b. 6/10/26 in Valetta, Malta. She came to U.S. in 1948.
He began playing elec. bass at age 13 at local school dances. At age 17, he began studying string bass with Shelly Saxon (New York Philharmonic) and Joe Thomasitis (N.Y.P. Adjunct). At age 18 began long series of jazz workshops W/ Lynn Oliver studios (1976-1986) in N.Y.C. Mostly big band, jazz octet, quintet and dixieland bands that also worked in the tri-state area (New York,New Jersey and Conneticut).took guitar lessons with Remo Palmier; piano with Hal Galper, Tim Regusis and Jon Weiss and Dick Katz. He got his B.A. in Music from Baruch College, N.Y.C. 1987. He's currently active in the tri-state area. He's the co-leader and founder of the Swing Now Trio (1984-1996).
Overall, the Swing Now Trio gigged with over 187 guest stars and substitutes (ie. Major Holley and Richard Wyands were substitutes, not guest stars). Also performed on gigs with famous tap and lindy dancers including Cookie Cook, Frankie Manning, Chuck Green, and others. From 1997-1999, he worked with veteran pianist Joe Bushkin in his band at Tavern on the Green, The Supper Club, and Tatou in N.Y.C. In 2000, he recorded with pianist/composer Charles Sibirsky, The"B.Q.E." quartet. He did many gigs with the quartet and others. In 2002, he did jazz gigs with pianist Jesse Gelber in N.Y.C., Anthony Gallino (Leader, drummer) and many other local jazz musicians. In 2003, he had many regular jazz venues in N.Y.C.
He's worked and recorded with tenor saxophonist Doug White. He played with George Benson at the opening of Guitar museum in New Hyde Park (Long Island/Queens border). He's currently working in a trio with Anthony Gallino and pianist Paul Heffner.
Jazz trio recording (unreleased) w/ Anthony Gallino and pianist Paul Heffner; with pianist Lonnie Liebowitz, an unreleased recording of original matierial (2001); Have several hundred hours of live unreleased recordings of Swing Now Trio gigs in New York City. These gigs feature dozens of guest stars such as Buddy Tate, Bennie Wallace, Lou Donaldson, Mark Whitecage, Joe Morello, Tom Harrell, Max Kaminsky, Carrie Smith and many others. With horn player guest stars, he played bass, piano and guitar w/ guest stars. Also have videos of live gigs where he was featured performing with Don Lamond, Erskine Hawkins, Spanky Davis, Doc Cheatham, Charli Persip and others. The videos with Hawkins, Davis and Cheatham and many of the live recordings were from jazz gigs for lindy hop and jitterbug dancing-not club dates.
Played on movie soundtrack "My Last Request" produced by actor Danny Aiello; Performed with the Swing Now Trio (with guest star Bobby Watson) in documentary film, "The Call of the Jitterbug" (1988 dir. Tana Ross, Jasper Sorensen and Vibeke Winding)
Did video shoot for American Movie Channel; appeared onscreen w/Bob Merrill big band playing for swing dancers which included legendary dancer Frankie Manning.
The Swing Now Trio was profiled by Stuart Troup in "New York Newsday," Nov. 25, 1987; by Herb Boyd in "New York Amsterdam News," Oct. 5, 1988; by Margo Nash in "The Battery News," Feb. 16, 1988; by Michael Clancey in The New York Swing Dance Society Newsletter in March 1989 and in "The Sunnyside News," June 1989.
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