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Joseph Richard Cinderella (June 14, 1927 – October 27, 2012) was an American jazz guitarist and educator. Guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, writing for Allmusic.com, said of Cinderella, "He was a technically brilliant, original player who for long periods let his creative talents become obscured not by piles of soot and ash but by their musical equivalent, commercial studio jobs."[1]

Career[edit | edit source]

Joe Cinderella was born into an Italian family in Newark, New Jersey, in 1927. He played mandolin, imitating his father, before picking up guitar when he was nine years old. He admired the music of Charlie Christian and Eddie Lang, and he copied the licks of Django Reinhardt. He was drafted at the age of eighteen[1][2] and lived at Camp Lee in Virginia. A staff sergeant who was a fan of jazz guitar and Django Reinhardt heard him playing. The sergeant gave him his own room, where he played guitar all day, and prevented him from being sent to Germany by putting him in a general's band as a drummer.[2]

He married Angela Cipulla and lived in Paterson while working as a musician in New York City. In 1954, they had a daughter, Daria, who also studied music. In the 1950s, Cinderella recorded extensively with saxophonist Gil Mellé, and he accompanied vocalist Chris Connor with double bassist Vinnie Burke.[1] He worked as a session guitarist for much of the 1960s, appearing on music for radio, television, and film. As a studio musician Cinderella performed with the Beach Boys, Billy Joel, and classical composer John Cage.[1] He taught guitar in a New Jersey college from 1969 and wrote several instructional books for jazz guitar. He self-released the album Concept in 2002.

At William Paterson College he became a member of the adjunct faculty and helped establish the school's jazz guitar program.[2] Cinderella and his wife moved to a housing community in the Whiting section of Manchester Township, where he died from natural causes on October 27, 2012.[3]

Discography[edit | edit source]

As leader[edit | edit source]

  • Concept (2001)

As sideman[edit | edit source]

With Chris Connor

  • Lullabies for Lovers (1954)
  • All About Ronnie (1988)
  • All About Chris (2006)

With Gil Mellé

With others

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Chadbourne, Eugene. "Joe Cinderella". https://www.allmusic.com/artist/joe-cinderella-mn0001640397/biography. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Carlton, Jim (2009). Conversations with Great Jazz and Studio Guitarists. Pacific, Missouri: Bill's Music Shelf. p. 179. ISBN 978-078665123-8. 
  3. Tamarkin, Jeff (5 November 2012). "Guitarist Joe Cinderella Dies at 85". https://jazztimes.com/news/guitarist-joe-cinderella-dies-at-85/. Retrieved 21 April 2017. "Guitarist Joe Cinderella passed away on Oct. 27 at the age of 85, in his home in Whiting, N.J., of natural causes." 
  4. "Joe Cinderella | Credits | AllMusic". https://www.allmusic.com/artist/joe-cinderella-mn0001640397/credits. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 

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