Johnny Guarnieri Day
March 23, 1917 – January 7, 1985
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Pianist John Albert “Johnny” Guarnieri was born on March 23, 1917, in New York City.
Guarnieri started taking classical piano lessons when he was ten, but Inspired by Count Basie and Art Tatum, soon switched to jazz.
In 1939 he joined Benny Goodman’s orchestra and also toured with Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge, Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, and more.
In the ’60 he moved to California, where he toured and recorded mostly as a solo artist.
The leader of his own group the “Johnny Guarnieri Swing Men” with whom he recorded for Savoy Records, he additionally cut sides with some top players of the period including Cozy Cole, Hank D’Amico, Charlie Christian, and Ben Webster.
The composer of more than one hundred songs, he is thought to have made well over 1,000 recordings in his career and is featured on over 6,000.
Later Johnny Guarnieri began to teach, becoming well-respected in the field of music education.