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Gap Mangione

Gap Mangione

Gap Mangione Brings Big Band Sound

by Eve R. Gaus, Staff Writer - June 25, 2003

His huge smile and laughing eyes show exactly the sort of fun-loving attitude that Gap Mangione and his big band will bring tonight in the Amphitheater.

The band will fill the Amphitheater with the sound of big bands through the ages at 8:15 tonight.

“This ‘big band of mine’ is a big band format, and we look a lot like a regular big band, but the music we play absolutely spans the history of big bands, from Duke Ellington in 1927 to something created just last year,” said Mangione.

The 14-member band includes Mangione on the piano and Steve Gadd on the drums in addition to trumpets, trombones, saxophones and a vocal section. Occasionally Gap Mangione’s younger brother, Chuck Mangione is a guest of the band. A unique aspect of Mangione’s band is its diversity of style. The band takes a traditional big band sound and adds in touches of jazz, Latin, and rock.

Recently the band released “Planet Gap: The Big Band,” and they will feature many of the tracks on the album tonight in addition to some “Mangione classics.” Mangione said, “Without giving away too much, because that is part of the fun, [I can say] we will play some of Chuck’s things.”

The audience will also be treated to a few songs that will be featured on the band’s newest CD that will be released in the fall.
“Planet Gap” has received rave reviews, as Mangione’s Big Band has the ability to take the ordinary and make it extrondinary. Reviewers have repeatedly praised Mangione’s version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” as a jazzy new take on an old favorite.
The beat of Mangione’s music is irresistible; with its quick tempo and upbeat brass section, it is impossible to sit still. Fortunately there is plenty of room around the Amphitheater for those audience members that feel like dancing.

A jazz magazine, All About Jazz, had expressed that these musicians seem to be having loads of fun playing together.

Gap (Gaspare) Mangione has been involved with music from a very young age, for which he credits his father. The Jazz Brothers was the first band Mangione became involved with, which he created with his brother Chuck.

Mangione and Chuck Mangione often perform together in large orchestra settings. Recently the duo played together in New York City’s Blue Note jazz club, according to

In 1968 Mangione released his first solo album, titled “Diana in the Autumn,” which has just been recently reissued in a CD format.
“Ardis” is the latest piano CD by Mangione. He said “The format of the CD is a combination of seven solo piano tracks, and the rest run the gamut from piano trios to pianos with strings and pianos with brass.”
Mangione also mentioned that he is a part of the New Blues Band quartet, which draws its members from Mangione’s big band, and is based out of the Lodge of Woodcliff in Rochester.

Rochester is Mangione’s home base. He has been a guest of the Rochester Philharmonic and stays extremely busy throughout the year with multiple engagements with his band. Throughout his career Mangione has played with Sammy Davis Jr. and Nat King Cole, and collaborated with Dizzy Gillespie and Chuck Mangione. He has recorded seven solo albums and plays on 10 recordings with his brother Chuck.

Mangione is thrilled to be coming to Chautauqua. “I’m excited about this particular opportunity to display the band, and I can pretty much guarantee anyone who likes music will enjoy this evening.”