[members-announce] The Tropea Band to Headline Benefit for Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund

Kathleen Mathieu kmathieu at trwg.com
Fri Oct 14 11:12:21 EDT 2005

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathleen Mathieu, 201-939-1844

The Tropea Band will appear on Friday, October 21 at 9:00 pm at 
Mexicali Blues Café, 1409 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck, NJ. Attendees’ $20 
donations will benefit the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund at Englewood 
Hospital and Medical Center. For more information, contact Steve Gillon 
at DOCIMGI at aol.com. Visit www.mexicalibluescafe.com for details; call 
(201)833-0011 for dinner reservations.

Music Meets Medicine in Humanitarian Cause
The Tropea Band to Headline Benefit in Teaneck

Jazz legends and area musicians will take the stage on October 21st to 
bring healthcare to the uninsured with a fundraising performance at 
Mexicali Blues Café in Teaneck. At a special concert conceived by Dr. 
Steve Gillon of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, The Tropea Band 
will join local rockers Sessions for a live show from which all 
proceeds will be donated to the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund.

All performers are eager to participate, and indeed, they have a lot to 
play for. Based at the Medical Center, the fund raises money for a 
special program that provides uninsured jazz musicians with top-notch 
healthcare free of cost. Doctors donate their time and talent, and 
Englewood charges nothing for the treatment. A godsend to many 
distinguished musicians in need, the fund was created at the request of 
Gillespie, a longtime Englewood resident and Medical Center patient, 
who died there in 1993.

For John Tropea, the opportunity to support the Dizzy Gillespie 
Memorial Fund is met with sincere devotion and personal fulfillment. He 
is both friend and patient to organizer Dr. Steve Gillon, and was a 
former personal acquaintance of Gillespie himself. Tropea, a lifelong 
area resident, is also grateful to Dr. Frank Forte, who coordinates 
medical care under the fund, and the other healthcare professionals at 
the Medical Center who have cared for him and his family over the 

A seasoned veteran of the music industry, Tropea also recognizes the 
importance of the fund for other performers who despite their hard work 
and dedication find themselves without health insurance and in need of 
help. The concert presents a unique situation for successful jazz 
veterans to lend their time and talent to improve difficult and 
sometimes life-threatening conditions faced by other musicians.

Spearheading the effort is Dr. Steve Gillon, a dedicated physician at 
Englewood who is touched by the spirit of the fund, and by the 
opportunity to play at a concert committed to the celebration of 
generosity and humanism. He is also one of the physicians who donate 
services for uninsured jazz musicians.

Gillon himself is an accomplished musician; he plays guitar for opening 
band Sessions, joined by his brother, percussionist Josh Gillon of 
Tenafly, bassist Patrick Heeney of Englewood, guitarist Jeff Solomon of 
Englewood, vocalist Will Weir of Tenafly, and guest artist Ronen Mikay 
of Norwood on the saxophone. Gillon and crew are naturally thrilled to 
take the stage with guitar legend John Tropea and his supporting cast 
of world-class musicians.

And why wouldn’t they be enthusiastic? The Tropea Band is an ensemble 
of some of the most masterly and accomplished jazz musicians in the 
world. Tropea himself is an internationally acclaimed master of his 
instrument, who came into the spotlight recording and touring with 
Deodato, developed as a much sought after studio musician in New York 
City, and achieved jazz immortality as a well-recognized solo artist 
and bandleader. A member of the Original Blues Brothers Band, Tropea 
has also collaborated with Harry Chapin, Paul Simon, Dr. John, and 
many, many other music greats. Recently, he has toured extensively in 
Asia and his band has produced two more CDs, Standard Influence and 
Standard Influence II: Rock Candy. His recent focus on live performance 
marks yet another stage in a long and distinguished career.

The Tropea Band’s current personnel features saxophonist Lou Marini, an 
original member of the Saturday Night Live Band. Marini was also “Blue 
Lou” of the Blues Brothers films and still tours with the Original 
Blues Brothers Band. Currently, he finds himself back in the area after 
having just completed a national tour with James Taylor. Bassist 
Anthony Jackson is well regarded as both a master of performance 
(having collaborated with Al Dimeola, Chick Corea, and Steely Dan, 
among many others), and one of the instrument’s leading “academicians,” 
having helped develop the six-string contrabass years before the 
popularization of five-string models. Lee Finkelstein will fill in for 
Cliff Almond on drums, and Chris Palmaro commands the Hammond B3 organ 
to round out the group.

Tune in to WFDU (89.1) on October 19 at 11 AM to hear John Tropea and 
Steve Gillon discuss “Playing the Guitar .” For more information about 
John Tropea and The Tropea Band, go to www.johntropea.com.

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