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Canadian Heritage

Joey DeFrancesco


JOEY DeFRANCESCO (organist, trumpeter, vocalist) was born on April 10, 1971 in Springfield, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., and currently lives in Arizona. He began playing the piano at four years of age and the B3 not long thereafter, and by seven, was already frequenting jazz clubs with his father, Hammond B3 player "Papa" John DeFrancesco. He had, in fact, been sitting in on his father’s gigs since he was six, and by ten, was working on his own.

Miles Davis invited DeFrancesco to join his band when he was just 17 years old. DeFrancesco took the gig, touring Europe and recording with Davis, but it was through his work with guitarist John McLaughlin’s ‘Free Spirits’ Trio in the 1990s that he became well known. B3 master Jimmy Smith was likely DeFrancesco’s greatest influence (although there were numerous others) reflected in his paying homage to Smith in his 1999 release of his ‘The Champ’ album (High Note), and recording with him frequently including on Smith’s last recording (‘Legacy;) completed just before Smith’s 2005 passing.

Joey DeFrancesco continues to play an average of 200 nights a year on the road with various musicians, frequently including guitarist Jake Langley. He co-led the Joey DeFrancesco/Jake Langley Trio in concert during the “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Series at the Ontario Science Centre on October 25, 2004.


2003 – Named ‘Top Jazz Organist’ in Down Beat Magazine’s Critics’ Poll.