Joe Bongiorno hails from Chicago, Illinois. His childhood dream was to be a professional athlete, but a football injury to the knee took him on a different course. Sometimes the deft hands of the Fates step in and lead us right into our life’s purpose and a whole different ballgame. Clearly, Joe was born to be a musician – and to play piano – for such a musical gift is not meant to sit idly on the sidelines watching the game.
Joe’s father saw to it that he had classical piano training at an early age, and even though Joe abandoned that training at age eleven, music still coursed through him. In high school, he formed a band, LIXX. After graduating, and moving geographically to Washington state, he also moved into the natural segue of composing. As well, shortly thereafter, he opened his first recording studio, Mellow Sounds Studio in 1993.
Joe’s first release was Ancient Sky in 1996. Shortly thereafter, Fate stepped in once again and on a trip to Chicago to visit his father, he met his cousin, Joann Bongiorno, a classical piano virtuoso whom he had only heard stories about.
Joe says, “I sat down at her Baldwin baby grand and something special happened. No, I didn’t perform magically for her (acoustic piano was a bit foreign to me at that time), but I was enamored by the power, simplicity, and enchanting sound of the instrument as a solo.” From that day forward, he says, “his synthesizers began to acquire dust.”
In 2005, Joe was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease, a hearing affliction that could obviously be the “kiss of death” for any musical career. He didn’t let Meniere’s get in his way, and in fact, recorded two albums during the worst of it: Somewhere Within and Mesmerized. You can learn about his incredible path through this disease here.
Here we get even more of a glimpse into true the spirit of Joe Bongiorno, and because of that spirit, we’re listening now to his hauntingly beautiful music, which very well could have been silenced when Meniere’s knocked on his door. Joe says, “I took this battle as a challenge, one of life’s many. It was a chance for me to tune in to my body and find out what it was trying to tell me. I listened to me, not to those who told me to accept it and those who said I was doomed to be deaf.”
For those seeking help and information on Meniere’s Disease, visit Joe’s Meniere’s.org forum.
In 2012, Joe moved to Sedona, AZ and now owns and operates his recording studio, Piano Haven, there. Piano Haven Recording Studio is a specialty studio focusing on piano and provides a peaceful, relaxed, productive environment.
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MELANCHOLY MORNING ~ JOE BONGIORNO LIVE IN CONCERT
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