Papa’ John Defrancesco

Joey DeFrancesco’s father, “Papa John”, saw his career revived after his son’s success led to the revival of the Hammond organ. John’s father played reeds in various swing bands, including with the Dorsey brothers. John DeFrancesco started playing trumpet at the age of six. His wife purchased him an organ on his 23rd birthday. After months of practice, DeFrancesco was ready to start performing in clubs. DeFrancesco arrived in Philadelphia in 1967 and quickly became a part of the Philadelphia jazz scene. John quit his job to help his son Joey, who was eight years old, and began playing professionally in 1979. Johnny DeFrancesco was another son who became a great guitarist. John DeFrancesco began to return to active playing in the 1990s. He recorded two solid sets for Muse (Doodlin’, Comin’ Home) and gained a national reputation. “Papa John” plays organ with an infectious, hard bop style that is not unlike his son. He signed to Highnote in the 21st Century, then to its sister imprint Savant. There he released a string fine recordings, including Hip Cake Walk 2001, Jumpin’ 2003, Walking Uptown 2004 and Desert Heat 2006. Papa John, after a five year hiatus in recording, returned to A Philadelphia Story with John Jr. and Glenn Ferracone on drums. Joey and Fortunato also made guest appearances. Allmusic

Leave a Comment