Interview with Joe Giglio

by Matthew Azucena

I live in the basement unit and my landlord lives above me in floors 1 and 2. On most weekends, I can hear him play music with his friends. Many times, I have also seen him put various instruments in his car for various gigs to supplement his income. So I figured he would be a good person to ask if he or someone he knew was a jazz musician. Luckily, he did know someone: Joe Giglio. Giglio is a guitarist and vocalist. He lives in Manhattan and has five published records. He got his Bachelors from SUNY New Paltz and his Masters from Purchase College. I interviewed him on 26 March 2022 over the phone.

1. What made you choose your preferred instrument?

 Joe Giglio saw the performance of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and was interested in the guitar from that point on. His older brother would also play many older records with guitarists, and this was what made him seriously look into learning how to play the guitar.

2. What draws you to jazz?

 He was drawn to the improvisation aspect of jazz. He told me that being able to make your music on the fly was something that interested him because it meant a little less music had to be put on memory, but also because he could have a lot of fun with his friends that also played jazz. He likened to having inside jokes with some friends but not with others in terms of how you play when together.

3. What is one important aspect of a band for you?

 That every band member needs to keep time. He mentioned, like in class, the drummer is the usual timekeeper. But he added that everyone had to not rely on the drummer to keep time. He recounted a couple times when a less experience band member lost track and made the performance not as good as it could have been if they just kept an internal beat counter.

4. What was your favorite encounter with someone you admired?

 More than a decade ago, Joe Giglio got to meet one of his influences, Sonny Rollins. This was at a concert in college. He recounted how he was nervous to approach him, but Rollins was extremely nice, and they were able to smoke and joke a bit before having to continue on with their respective nights’.

5. What is your favorite gig/recording session from memory?

 In May 2004, Giglio was set to record with Joe Diorio. Diorio was another person he admired, so Giglio was really excited for it. He said that Diorio was an amazing guitarist but suffered from medical conditions that would eventually partially paralyze his left side. This left without the physical ability to play like he once could. With this in mind, Giglio said that it was really cool looking back on the experience of one his personal greats in their prime. This was the one and only time he got to record with Diorio.


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