Frank L. Marocco January 2, — March 3, was an American piano- accordionist , arranger and composer. He was recognized as one of the most recorded accordionists in the world. At the age of seven years, his parents enrolled him in a six-week beginner class for learning to play the accordion. Marocco's first teacher was George Stefani , who supervised the young accordionist for nine years. Although they began studying classical music, Stefani soon encouraged young Frank to explore other musical genres.
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Frank Marocco, a rare jazz accordionist, a first-call studio musician and one of the most recorded accordion players in the world, has died.
He was Marocco died Saturday at his home in the San Fernando Valley, after having been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for complications following hip replacement surgery, according to his daughter Cynthia. His accordion can be heard on hundreds of movie soundtracks, recordings, musical theater, television series and specials, commercials, video games and theme park music.
The accordion has almost never been viewed as a principal jazz instrument and was often reviled by jazz musicians as something appropriate only for German beer gardens and Argentine nightclubs. But Marocco spent a lifetime disputing the limitations of that view, bringing jazz authenticity to the many groups he began leading while still a teenager. As many critics and musicians observed, Marocco was a gifted musical artist who simply happened to play an unusual instrument.
There were no equals on his instrument. And the warmth he exhibited in his playing was mirrored by the kindness he exhibited as a human being. Frank L. Marocco was born Jan. Growing up in the town of Waukegan, he began to take accordion lessons at age 7. He later added piano, clarinet, music theory and composition to his interests.
For the next few years, he worked with a trio in the Midwest, where he met his future wife, Anne, in South Bend, Ind. In , the couple moved to Los Angeles, where Marocco formed another band, concentrating on appearances in nightclubs and hotels in Las Vegas and Palm Springs. By the mid-'60s, he had become well established as a studio player, valued for his technique as well as his versatility.
Marocco was also a busy composer, publishing study books for the accordion, as well as collections of his own diverse songs and compositions. Marocco is survived by his wife of 60 years, Anne; his daughters Cynthia, Venetia and Lisa; and eight grandchildren.
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About Us. Brand Publishing. Times News Platforms. Times Store. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. March 6, But Marocco was always quick to describe jazz as his passion. Enter Email Address. Sign Me Up. You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times. More From the Los Angeles Times. Johnny Majors, Hall of Fame college football coach, dies at Basketball Hall of Famer Wes Unseld died at 74 after a series of health issues, most recently pneumonia.
Frank Marocco dies at 81; jazz accordionist