John Tropea (born January 7, 1946 in New York City) is a guitarist with extensive experience in the rock, pop, and jazz genres. Tropea has written for and played with major recording artists from around the world. In his long career, his contributions to other artist’s successes have been numerous, including his solo work with Eumir Deodato, (2001 theme), projects with Laura Nyro, Harry Chapin (Cat’s in the Cradle), Paul Simon (Fifty Ways), Eric Clapton (Journey Man), Dr. John, and many others.
Tropea began guitar studies at the age of 12. His musical education continued at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied jazz guitar, harmony, Musical composition, and big band arranging. Immediately after arriving in Boston, Tropea began playing live R & B and jazz gigs with many different bands in the area, including The Three Degrees. Influenced by Wes Montgomery, Johnny Smith, Louis Bonfa, Pat Martino, and George Benson, it was at this time that Tropea began to absorb those influences into an original style of his own. Also among his mentors at the time were the great Hammond B3 Organ players Jack McDuff and Jimmy Smith.
After Berklee, Tropea recorded and toured with Eumir Deodato. Moving to New York in 1967, Tropea quickly became one of the most sought after session players. He soon became a peer among New York’s finest studio musicians. In 1974, he played on Van Morrison's "Bulbs" and "Cul de Sac" included on the album, Veedon Fleece and issued as the single. As well as world touring, Tropea wrote and produced three critically acclaimed solo albums with TK records.
His first solo album Tropea, was released in 1975, followed by Short Trip to Space, and To Touch You Again. With those early recordings and other projects, Tropea formed close musical alliances with other leading New York musicians including David Spinozza, Warren Bernhardt, David Sanborn, Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson, Don Grolnick, and Richard Tee.
Tropea has written and arranged music for film and broadcast advertising. With his frequent co-producer and friend Will Lee, Tropea released Simple Way to say 'I Love You' , and Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blues, live gigs from that era by The Tropea Band at Mikell's, in New York City, remain legendary. He also composed the song "Tambourine", which was used as the close for WABC's Eyewitness News broadcasts from 1977 to 1980. Along with his own projects, Tropea currently plays with the Original Blues Brothers Band.
Solo artist Edit
- Take Me Back to the Ol' School - STP Records 2007
- The Time Is Right - Video Arts Music 2007
- Standard Influence II: Rock Candy - Video Arts Music 2005
- Standard Influence - Video Arts Music 2003
- Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blues - Video Arts Music 1999
- A Simple Way to Say I Love You - Video Arts Music 1997
- NYC Cats Direct - Digital Music Productions 1986
- Live at Mikell's - Video Arts Music 1982
- To Touch You Again - Video Arts Music 1979
- Short Trip to Space - Video Arts Music 1977
- Tropea - Video Arts Music 1975
Guest appearances Edit
- 1972 Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001 Theme) - Eumir Deodato
- 1972 Super Strut - Eumir Deodato
- 1973 Spectrum - Billy Cobham
- 1974 Satan - Sonny Stitt*1976 Black Widow - Lalo Schifrin (CTI)
- 1977 Towering Toccata - Lalo Schifrin (CTI)
- 1979 Yama - Art Farmer with Joe Henderson (CTI)
- 1981 I Got The Melody - Odyssey