KJAZZ Radio UK is proud to have on board composer and pianist John Gatti. Throughout a musical career that has spanned nearly four decades, John Gatti primarily played music composed by others. As a rock musician, he played piano, flute, clarinet, harmonica, and saxophone with such original bands as The Unknowns, Truth, The Good Rats, Ariel, and Mr. Smooth and the Smoothettes. During those stints he opened for headliners like Bruce Springsteen, The Grateful Dead and Journey. John also sang and played keyboards and clarinet with Grover, Margaret, and Za Zu Zaz, a popular swing-jazz group, in the late 70s and early 80s, and again during their 20-year reunion concerts and live recording in 1999 – 2000. After Za Zu Zaz disbanded, Gatti played on and produced CDs with various musical artists. He also created original music and recording commercials for such companies as Mercedes, Shop Rite, American Airlines and Buick. John spends his time these days playing jazz standards, original compositions and the music he loves with bassist Jeff Gellis at different venues. John is married with two children and two grandsons, John Gatti is a highly respected piano teacher with a large number of students whom he inspires everyday.
“Destinations” consists of songs inspired by some of the many places my wife and I have visited over the years. In these songs I celebrate the exotic as well as the familiar, everything from Caribbean paradises to the Jersey shore, from our nation’s busy capital to our peaceful lake community. Musically, I’m giving equal billing to local and international destinations, from Paris, France to the Great Falls, Paterson’s new National Park. In composing these pieces, I’ve tried to interject many of the jazz elements I love best, including Latin rhythms, Funk, New Orleans style, Swing, and strong melodies, to make these tunes as distinctive as the trips that inspired them.
John Gatti has been composing his own music for over three decades. Life Lines, Heart Lines consists of melodic instrumentals inspired by family members. The CD consists of 11 songs, ranging from a classically infused tribute to his Aunt Anna, who played the organ in St. Anthony’s Church in Paterson for over 45 years, to a lighthearted celebration of his in-law’s 50th wedding anniversary. All songs were written, arranged, played and produced by John himself.
John was first inspired to write a family song when his father died, in 1990. “My father was a fine musician and my musical mentor,” John recalls. “When he died, this song just came out of me, and seemed to reflect his spirit. The other songs were created in much the same process.”