Gene Dinovi

Gene (Eugene Salvatore Patrick) Dinovi. Pianist, composer, singer, b Brooklyn, 26 May 1928. In the late 1940s, he began his career in New York as a teenager bebop pianist at jazz clubs on 52nd Street. He also played for many bandleaders, including Joe Marsala (Stan Hasselgard), Boyd Raeburn (Stan Hasselgard), and Henry Jerome (Stan Jerome). In this time, he recorded as a sideman for Benny Goodman (for Capitol), Brew Moor (Savoy), Aaron Sachs(Manor), Artie Shaws (Columbia), Lester Young (Alladin). Popular accompanist for singers, DiNovi was a popular player for Tony Bennett and Peggy Lee in the 1950s. He also played for Lena Horne from 1955 to 1963, later on an irregular basis. He studied composition and orchestration in Los Angeles with Lee at the mid-decade mark, as well as again during his time working as an arranger and pianist for TV in the 1960s. In Los Angeles, during the 1960s, he also studied piano with Jacob Gimpel as well as conducting and composition with Maria di Bonaventura. In 1972, DiNovi moved to Toronto as an accompanist for Carmen McRae. DiNovi split his time between solo piano performances at some of Toronto’s most exclusive rooms (Charles One at La Scala, Later in the Years, Lounges at Four Seasons, Royal York, and Sutton Place), and studio work as an arranger/composer of incidental music, film scores, and jingles. In 1974, he starred with Jodie Drake as the star of CBC (Toronto TV) TV’s Gene and Jodie’. He has also presented series and programs about US song and songwriters on CBC radio (including seasons intermittently 1975-1981 on The Morning Show’ and ‘Morningside’), TV Ontario (1980), and in concert. DiNovi’s songs, to lyrics by Spence Maxwell and Bob Comstock, Johnny Mercer and others, include ‘Brand New Day’ and ‘I Can Hear the Music. They were recorded by Maurice Chevalier and Nancy Wilson. DiNovi has also composed The Scandanavian Suite No. 1 (Sweden), (recorded in 1958 by Roulette), a Divertimento in Blue for Benny Goodman, Hommage a Satie and many other classical pieces. He began touring Canada in 1984 with James Campbell, a clarinetist. They played a mix of classical and jazz music. DiNovi’s Canadian recordings include Softly as I Leave You (1977), PediMega Records #1), of piano solos; Each Day Is Valentine’s Day (84, PediMega Records #2); and Ruby

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