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Joe Vito Funeral / Wake / Memorial Services Info: Chicago Jazz/Caberet Pianist Dies At 79

Longtime Chicago Jazz pianist Joe "Vito" Vitaterna passes away at age 79...he was a fifty (50) year member of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 10-208. A Chicago native, Joseph Vito began studying the piano and accordion at the age of seven; he later also studied the clarinet. After graduating from Mt. Carmel High School in 1947, he served in the Navy during the Korean conflict. While in the Navy, Vito became interested in jazz which he studied while completing a Bachelor's Degree in composition at DePaul University. Vito also worked as a studio musician for CBS doing many commercial TV and radio assignments. He worked at various clubs and hotels with jazz groups and recorded with jazz violinist Hal Otis on Zale Records; these recordings led to an appearance with Dave Garroway on the "Today Show". In 1961 he began freelancing as a pianist, orchestra leader and conductor, working with such artists as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Andy Williams. Since 1970 he performed as music director for various corporations including McDonald's, Whirlpool, World Book, Holiday Inn and John Deere. Beginning in 1983 Joe partnered with jazz violinist Johnny Frigo (until his death in 2007) and played at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland as well as the Umbrian Jazz Festivals in Perugia and Orvieto. Over the years Joe also worked with Doc Severinsen in a concert tour that included Milwaukee Symphony, Minneapolis Symphony, National Symphony (Washington, D.C.), the Phoenix Symphony, the Colorado Symphony (Denver) and at Copley Symphony Hall (San Diego, CA). Vito also played the accordion at the Lyric Opera in "Wozzeck and Fedora" and with the Chicago Opera Theatre in "Four Saints in Three Acts". Joe also had worked with Julie Andrews in the play, "Victor/Victoria". Vito appeared as the guest soloist with the Warsaw Philharmonic at their 100th Anniversary Celebration in 2001. He also had accompanied tenor Luciano Pavarotti on numerous occasions, including the performance of the "Three Tenors in Chicago". He also performed with the the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

If you so desire, You can leave comments here at the on-line obituary GuestBook set up for Joe at lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to American Cancer Society , 800 Davis St., Suite 400, Evanston, IL 60201 or DePaul University, School of Music, 804 W. Belden Ave., Chicago, IL 60614.

Funeral arrangements for Joe Vito are as follows:

Date: Thursday July 1, 2010
Time: 4PM to 9PM
Where: Donnellan Family Funeral Home
10045 Skokie Blvd., at Old Orchard Rd.
Skokie, IL


Date: Friday July 2, 2010
Time: 10:15 AM
Where: From Donnellan Family Funeral Home in Skokie to
St. Norbert Church
1809 Walters Ave.
Northbrook, IL
Mass 11 a.m.
Interment All Saints Cemetery

Video of Joe Vito on accordian:

Video of Joe Vito Chicago pianoman playing with Johnny Frigo violinist at the Green Mill:

(Image: Michael Birnbaum)


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