New Jersey music is diverse.
Of that there is no question. Just looking at the artists below, you will
see for yourself.
- b. 1937
Lincoln Park, NJ
Born in Brooklyn,
composer and musician Angelo Badalamenti is perhaps best known for his
collaborations with film director David Lynch. However, the list of people
he has worked with is very impressive.
Born in Cuba, Barreuco fled with his family to the United States in 1967.
He began studying classical
guitar in Cuba at the age of 8, and attended Arts High School in Newark.
He has performed numerous times with the New
Jersey Symphony Orchestra and is considered one of the premier classical
guitarists in the world today.
"Count" Basie - b. 1906 d. 1984
Red Bank, NJ
New Jersey native
Basie got his start in Harlem nightclubs before moving to St. Louis.
He is regarded as one of the most exciting piano players and band leaders
of the 20th century.
Black - b.
Long Branch, NJ
Born in New Jersey, but raised in Texas, Clint Black is a neotraditional
country singer, songwriter and producer with numerous platinum records
among his honors.
Thanks to Clayton Caldwell for this suggestion.
Block - b.
blues guitarist. Born in New Jersey, raised in Manhattan.
Bon Jovi -
Born John Bongiovi,
his band (compised of fellow Jerseyans Richie Sambora, Dave Bryan, and
Tico Torres) has had great recording success over the past 20 years.
Thanks to Roxanne, for the additional details.
Barbara Bonney - 1956
Operatic soprano, her family moved to Maine when she was still a teenager.
Capalbo - b. 1978
This young opera tenor has been making critics
and audiences alike take notice. His future looks very bright.
Thanks to Mark H. for this suggestion.
- b. 1958
Born in Princeton, Carpenter
spent time in Japan and later Washington DC. She is a successful country
singer and guitarist.
David Cassidy - b. 1950
West Orange, NJ
Born in New York City, David Cassidy was raised by his grandparents in West Orange as is parents spent a lot of time on the road. Most famous as a member of the Partridge Family.
Thanks to John McGuire for this suggestion.
- b. 1940
Born in North Carolina, but moving with his family to New
Jersey as a teenager, George Clinton worked as a barber and then sang
in a doo-wop group before moving to Detroit and forming the group Funkadelic
in the early 70s.
Cole - b.
1909 d. 1981
East Orange, NJ
Born William Randolph Cole, Cozy was a well-known jazz drummer who played
with many of the jazz greats. You
can see Cozy in action here, including a video team drumming with Gene
Krupa! By the way, I studied some of Cozy's charts as a young drummer
Di Meola -
Jersey City, NJ
World-renowned jazz guitarist, Di Meola has a discography that is as extensive
as it is varied.
Bill Evans - b. 1929 d. 1980
Well-regarded, and some say the most influential post WW2 jazz pianist.
Thanks to Brian S. for this suggestion.
Fagen - b.
One half of the important band Steely
Dan, with Walter Becker. Fagen has also released a number of solo
albums and began his recent solo tour in New Jersey.
Thanks to Jay Farrell for
pointing out the wrong picture of Fagen.
Francis - b. 1938
Rosemarie Franconero, Connie Francis had many hit records in the late
1950s and 1960s. Her records still sell, and she is still in demand for
Gore - b.
Born in New York City as Lesley Sue Goldstein, the singer better known
Gore was raised in Tenafly and rocketed to fame with her best known
hit "It's My Party". She still performs live.
Thanks to Jay Farrell for the suggestion.
Gorka - b.
Well-known in folk music circles, John
Gorka has saluted his homestate in his music.
Florence Greenberg - b. 1913 d. 1995
Early record producer and music executive for many popular singers in the 60's, such as: Dionne Warwick, The Shirelles, Tammi Terrell, Chuck Jackson, B.J. Thomas.
Thanks to AlBee!
Noted mandolinist, newgrass composer, started the record label Acoustic
Thanks for this suggestion to William David.
Harry - b.
Born in Florida,
Debbie was adopted by a couple in NJ at age 3 months, and grew up in Hawthorne.
Singer and actress, most notably in the group Blondie.
Hill - b. 1975
South Orange, NJ
Hip Hop singer,
ex-member of The Fugees. Winner of Album of the Year in 1998.
b. 1963 d. 2012
Singer and actress.
If you haven't heard of her, what rock do YOU live under? Died tragically before her time.
Janis Ian - b.
Born Janis Eddy Fink in New York City, Janis Ian grew up on a chicken farm in Farmingdale,and attended East Orange High School. A Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter, she began her career at age 13. Her family still lives in NJ.
- b. 1958
Born Tracy Marrow,
singer and actor Ice-T is one of the most widely and highly regarded hip-hop
artists. He moved to California while still a child, after his parents
were killed in a car crash. Ice T currently resides in North Bergen, with
his wife, Nicole Austin.
Tommy James - b. 1947
Cedar Grove, NJ
Ohio-born, current Cedar Grove resident Tommy James (born Thomas Jackson) is best known for his band Tommy James and the Shondells, with many pop hits.
AlBee gets the nod for this suggestion.
Jean - b. 1972
South Orange, NJ
Born in Haiti, Wyclef Jean moved to Brooklyn when he was 9, then to New
Jersey, where he became one of the founding members of The Fugees. Since
leaving The Fugees, he has released several solo recordings, and done
film and television work.
b. 1987, 1989, 1992
A pop band of brothers Kevin,
Joe and Nick.
Thanks to this suggestion to Stephanie.
Joseph Kekuku - b. 1874 d. 1932
Born in Hawaii, Joseph Kekuku is widely regarded as the inventor of the steel guitar. It is not clear how he found himself in Dover, where he lived for several years and where he is buried, after passing away at Morristown Memorial Hospital.
Jerome Kern - b. 1885 d. 1945
A native New Yorker, this composer of American theater and popular music moved to Newark with his family, and graduated from what became Barringer High School.
Thanks to Mark Gladstone for this suggestion.
Lucas - b.
1897 d. 1982
Born Dominic Nicholas Anthony Lucanese in Newark, and grew up in Belleville,
Lucas is sometimes known as the "Grandfather
of the Jazz Guitar". Lucas had many hit records in the 1920s
Thanks for this suggestion to Bob Furmanek.
McCoo - b.
Jersey City, NJ
Born in New Jersey, but grew up in California, Marilyn was a beauty contest
winner before her singing talents took her to the group The
5th Dimension. Also had a successful career with Billy Davis and still
Lou Monte - b. 1917 d.1989
Born in New York Cit as Louis Scaglione, raised in Lyndhurst, Lou Monte was an Italian-American singer popular in the 50s and 60s.
Thank to Garrett for this suggestion.
My Chemical Romance - b. 2001
Jersey City, NJ
Band formed in 2001. Thanks to MANY people for this suggestion.
Nelson - b.
1940 d. 1985
Son of the famous "Ozzie and Harriet" Nelson, Rick (also known
as Ricky Nelson) was a participant in the radio and TV shows "The
Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet", and had his own sucessful music
career. Inducted in the Rock
& Roll Hall of Fame, died tragically young in a plane crash.
Pass - b.
1929 d. 1994
New Brunswick, NJ
Born Joseph Anthony Passalaqua, Joe
Pass is considered to be one of the most innovative jazz guitarists.
Paul - b. 1915 d. 2009
Born in Wisconsin as Lester Polfus, Les Paul had a successful
music career from World War 2 until his death. He may have been better known for his inventions
and advancements he made in music recording. He performed weekly at
Jazz Club in New York City every Monday.
One of the founding members and lead singers of the seminal rock band,
The B-52s. Kate
has also performed with various other artists.
- b. 1926
Father of noted guitarist John Pizzarelli (see below), Bucky
Pizzarelli has worked to preserve pre-World War II classic jazz guitar
styles through his many live performances and recordings.
- b. 1960
John Pizzarelli, the
son of jazz guitarist John "Bucky" Pizzarelli (see above),
is himself an accomplished jazz
guitarist and vocalist, well-respected among critics and the public
alike. Numerous recordings and regular touring mean you should always
be able to experience his fluid playing and smooth vocals.
Latifah - b. 1970
Born Dana Owens, Queen
Latifah is a successful female rapper, TV actress, film actress
and talk show host.
b. 1941 d. 1998
East Orange, NJ
Born in Brooklyn but raised in East Orange, NJ, Eddie Rabbitt was a country-pop
singer and songwriter, whose career took off when he wrote a song recorded
by Elvis Presley ("Kentucky Rain").
Riddle - b. 1921 d. 1985
Famous music arranger, the Nelson
Riddle Orchestra was well-known for accompanying a young Frank Sinatra.
Also a well-respected composer.
Ed Shaughnessy - b. 1929
Jersey City, NJ
Swing and bebop drummer, best known for his long association with the Doc Severinsen band on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Drum Battle with Buddy Rich!
Thanks to Gary Weber for this suggestion.
Born in Lakehurst before moving to Long Island (currently living in Argentina
when not on tour), guitarist Shindell is a widely respected singer-songwriter
in the folk-rock genre with several excellent records to his credit.
The Shirelles - formed 1958
The first Girl Group to have a #1 on the Billboard 100. These ladies from Passaic High School were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the City of Passaic recently named a secion of Paulison Avenue to Sirelles Boulevard.
Thanks to Joe Botti for this suggestion.
A member of Miles Davis group in the 60s, Shorter
is a respected jazz musician and composer. Has also recorded with non-jazz
artists such as Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan.
Simon - b.
actor, one half of the music duo Simon & Garfunkel.
b. 1915 d. 1998
Perhaps one of
the greatest, if not THE greatest, singer
of all time. 'Nuf said.
Charles Smith - b. 1948 d.
Jersey City, NJ
Founding member of Kool
and the Gang. Smith was the lead guitarist and wrote most of the band's
Smith - b.
Born in Chicago, but raised in Woodbury in southern New Jersey,
Smith is best known as a poet-punk icon of the mid 1970s New York
music scene. After marrying Fred "Sonic" Smith, guitarist for
the MC5, Patti led a more conventional life, but has recently kick-started
her artistic career.
Thanks to Eric Dezenhall for this suggestion.
Plains and Carteret, NJ
Four piece rock band, from north-central New Jersey, with many recordings
and concerts and stuff. Do a search on the net for more info.
Thanks to Rob Seel for this suggestion.
Phoebe Snow - b. 1952 d. 2011
Born in New York, grew up in Teaneck and resided in Fort Lee, Snow was a well-known singer/songwriter.
Thanks for this suggestion to Jean Hochron.
- b. 1949
The Boss, rock
and roll, pure New Jersey.
Swallow - b. 1940
Fair Lawn, NJ
Born in New York City, Swallow is a well-respected jazz
bassist and composer.
Thanks to Raul Anthony Silve for this suggestion.
Valli - b. 1937
Castellucio, Frankie Valli became famous with his group The 4 Seasons.
They had many hit records in the 1950s and 60s. Still going strong, with
hit record after hit record.
b. 1924 d. 1990
to be one of the finest vocalists to have ever lived. How about that,
New Jersey produced the best male and female vocalists ever?
Miller, considered one of the most influential of the post-punk artists
in the 70s as the leader of the band Television.
- b. 1945
Somerville, New Jersey
An operatic mezzo-soprano
nicknamed Flicka, von Stade sings all over the world.
East Orange, NJ
Singer and actress,
also known for her Psychic Friends Network.
George David Weiss - b. 1921 d. 2010
Songwritercomposer, and member of the
Songwriters Hall of Fame. Perhaps best known for "What a Wonderful World" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".
Wright - b. 1943
Notable not only for his biggest hit "Dreamweaver"
(which by the way is the name of the program I originally used to create
this website!), but also was a member of the band Spooky Tooth and played
on many of ex-Beatle George Harrison's albums.
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