Joe Vento is a Grammy Award-winning musician who began studying violin at 2 years of age with Professors Bevalaqua and Solfeggio and under the capable guidance of his musicologist-father. At 4, Joe began accordion-studies with Guido Deiro. An accelerated student, at 13 he won a scholarship in composition and musicology from the Julliard School of Music. He later studied conducting at New England Conservatory of Music. Charles Magnante discovered Joe, the world’s most accomplished accordion virtuoso, and immediately began a long period of accordion studies.
Near the end of WW II, Joe’s studies were interrupted when he began a stint in the army band and orchestra with Jack Cathcart, Conductor at Camp Roberts, California. Upon Joe’s army-discharge, it was Cathcart (married to Sue Garland, Judy Garland’s sister) who suggested Joe move to California where Cathcart introduced Vento to Mickey Whelan, music-contractor at MGM studios. Since then, Joe has made over 500 movie and TV appearances with such stars as Joan Collins, Elvis, Charlton Heston, Dean Martin, Mario Lanza, and Frank Sinatra to name just a few.
Of special note … This multi-talented individual studied medicine during the interim to become an ophthalmologist who, until recently, has had an active practice.
Beginning in 1955, Joe performed for 27 years with the Three Suns appearing many times on The Tonight Show, Ed Sullivan Show, Mike Douglas Show, Kate Smith Show, Frankie Yankovich Show and Jerry Lewis Telethons. Some of Joe’s worldwide appearances include command performances in the White House, Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, and Beijing, China as well as numerous USO appearances in Asia, Europe, the Mideast and Vietnam. In Vietnam he was wounded by mortar fire during a performance for the troops. An interview with An American Profile covered the story after his return to America that was broadcast in the series entitled: “Wounded Accordion.’’
Vento has been a conductor of many performers including Victor Borge, Nelson Eddy, Broadway shows and on cruise ships. Joe presently appears at the Paris resort hotel in Las Vegas (pictured here). He also conducts the Veteran Tonight Show Big Band in Los Angeles every Wednesday night (now in their 10th year).
Joe is a consummate musician, full of energy, excitement and great wisdom who has much to share. He will be teaching master classes on technique, bellowing and styles of music from ethnic to swing at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention this year. See the back cover of this publication for more information.