Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Tranchina, Joe (Joseph Vincent)
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. When a family piano was purchased for the education of a younger sibling, the teenager transferred his musical knowledge to the instrument without much formal instruction. He "discovered" jazz while scanning the radio dial: Ella Fitzgerald's "How High the Moon" and John Coltrane's "Ascension" simply mesmerized him. The dial never moved again.
He studied piano 1966/67 with Louis Laughlin. He studied composition 1967/68 with Albert Tepper. He studied piano 1967/68 with Morton Estrin. He studied piano 1970/71 with Sanford Gold. He went for his higher education from 1967-1971 at Hofstra University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. He continued his musical studies with piano legends Sir Roland Hanna (1972) 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.
The composer, and occasional lyricist, of over 1000 compositions, Tranchina's work ranges from straight-ahead, fusion, and Brazilian jazz to new age, world beat, pop and classical. In addition to writing lyrics for his own compositions, Joe has contributed English lyrics to the compositions of celebrated German composer/big band leader Conny Scheffel.
Joe has performed in most of the major jazz and club venues throughout New York City and the surrounding area, including Birdland, the Oak Room, the Blue Note, the Iridium, the Village Gate, and the Lenox Lounge. 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. 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.
His spouse is Gabriele Tranchina, a vocalist. His children are Danielle (b. 10/1/68) and Kristen (b. 9/26/77).
Radio and television broadcasts:
His radio appearances include WBAI's "Stolen Moments," with host Mahmoud Ibrahim;
he has been a guest on the cable access programs of tenor legend Harold Ousley and the drummer Bernice "Boom Boom" Brooks.
He composed the original scores for Barbara Reiter's documentary Significance, and Ryoya Terao's documentary Go Achilles.
Tranchina has been recognized with awards for iThe Best of the Bronx,i (2 consecutive)
and the iASCAP Popular Music Awardi for original music performed in non-surveyed venues (5 consecutive).
He 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).