John "Papa" DeFrancesco
born on 12/9/1940
He is the son of a remarkable Sicilian-born musician, Joe DeFrancesco, who was a member of the Dorsey Brothers swing band. His son, Joey, is a world-renowned jazz organist and former member of Miles Davis' band.
'Papa' John began playing the Hammond Organ in the Buffalo, New York area in 1959 after seeing Jimmy Smith. He later made the acquaintance of several prominent jazz artists, notably jazz organist Jack McDuff, singerband leader Cab Calloway, and another newcomer to the Hammond B-3, Dr. Lonnie Smith. DeFrancesco would later move to Philadelphia and become a key player in the Philadelphia jazz scene.
In 1979 when Joey turned eight and started playing professionally, John temporarily gave up his career so as to supervise his son. Another son, Johnny DeFrancesco, developed into a fine guitarist. In the 1990s, John DeFrancesco returned to a more active playing career.
He currently lives in Maricopa, Arizona and gigs regularly in Phoenix.
- 1993: "Doodlin'" (Muse Records)
- 1994: "Comin' Home" (Muse)
- 2001: "Hip Cake Walk" (Highnote)
- 2002: "Jumpin'" (Savant)
- 2004: "Walking Uptown" (Savant)
- 2006: "Desert Heat" (Savant)
- 2009: "Big Shot" (Savant)
- 2011: "A Philadelphia Story" (Savant)