PEOPLE UP CLOSE
MEET GAP MANGIONE
of Birth: Rochester, NY
Status/Children: "My wife's name is Janet and I have two
grown children, Ardis and Jason."
"I went to Franklin High School and graduated from Syracuse University
with degrees in liberal arts and music."
I Got Started in Music: "My family was always attracted
to music and I was lucky enough that they offered me piano lessons,
which I started at age six. However, I often spent more time
doing pieces I wanted to do than what the teacher had assigned.
Also, my grandparents had a player piano. I used to sit for
hours pedaling the piano and watching the keys go up and down.
It gave me time to observe, to hear what the piano could do."
I perform: "The majority of my performances are at the Lodge
Music Highlights: "There was one memorable performance in
the late '70s when [my brother] Chuck led the orchestra at the
Hollywood Bowl in front of 10,000 people and I was the featured
pianist. The place was so big that it was a quarter or a mile
from the stage to the back seats. Another standout happened about
a week ago, when Oscar Peterson , the great jazz pianist,
was at Woodcliff and stopped to hear me play. I felt like a teen-ager
when I saw him, because it's not often that one gets to perform
in front of one's idol."
I've Met Along the Way: "I've met some incredible people,
many major political figures like Gerald Ford, Jack Kemp, and
George Bush. One person that really had me floored was Sophia
Loren, who I met at the Strathallan. We even carried on a conversation
in Italian about her son, who was interested in music."
Going to Bed Late: "There's so much energy that comes off
after a performance that I usually go home and compose/arrangelate
at night. I usually get to bed by 2 a.m. and we often tell people
we get up at the crack of 9."
I Enjoy Best About My Career: "My major perk is that I play
music for a living. It's the best thing I can do."
Preference: "It's like choosing between your children! I like
jazz, classical, and big-band."
Childhood Memory: "My father would take Chuck and me to
musical performances, often outdoors or places far away. We
often traveled to Crystal Beach, Ontario Canada, where there
was a huge dance hall. We saw every major big band you can imagine."
Pet Who Owned Me: "None. I lavish my attention on my children
and my wife."
Favorite Form of Exercise: "It's a tie: either bicycling
or walking -- and I usually walk along Lake Ontario since it's
near my home."
Book Read: "'The Singers and the Song,' by Gene Lees. It's
about music and musicians, and I gave copies to my children,telling
them to read it to understand what I was all about."
Enjoy Cooking/Easting: "Pasta. My mother used to -- and
my wife does -- make a unique red sauce. When I was a child
we'd have it twice a week. and now we have it more often. I'm
not into cream sauces, only red, and we often add other things
like peas or cauliflower. Meat is mostly used for flavoring.
It's very healthy."
to My Refrigerator Door: "A picture of Miles Davis smiling
and a phone number of an Italian specialty store where we order
Vacation: "North and South. We like the Adirondacks on a
quiet lake with a canoe -- places like Blue Mountain Lake. In
the past, I used to spend the first three months of winter in
Miami or L.A., something I really enjoyed at the time."
Be Surprised to Know That: "For a person whose business is
so public, I like to be quiet, spending time in my back yard,
which resembles an arboretum. I don't even have background music
Living in Rochester: "I've always had a home here, but most
of my life I've traveled elsewhere. I'm convinced that when
you've been elsewhere and come back home, you come to realize
how good Rochester really is."