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Vince Cattolica

The blind clarinetist Vince Cattolica was such an excellent player how the miserly Benny Goodman finished up giving him one of is own own instruments. Cattolica was linked for many years with San Francisco’s jazz membership scene, getting into his glory as a new player through the ’40s and ’50s. This era is often regarded as the city’s fantastic era like a Mecca for traditional jazz, but Cattolica was there for appreciative listeners till his loss of life from a coronary attack in early 2004, swinging solid and hard no real matter what the designs dictated. Along with his innovative taste which range from New Orleans jazz to bebop, Cattolica performed with performers such as for example pianist Earl Hines as well as the trumpeter and drummer Marty Marsala. Cattolica began monitoring music as a kid, you start with violin and piano. He was among seven children inside a typically huge Italian family members; his dad was a fisherman. Experiencing cataracts, Vince Cattolica was by no means able to observe anything beyond darkness shapes. By age 18 he was regarded as totally sightless. Once he got his fingertips on the clarinet there is nothing very much else that interested him — he evidently even went so far as to sabotage the devices in his keying in class so he’d be capable of geting out and garner a little more time using the licorice stay. As a specialist his playing sidekicks also included Jack port Sheedy, Wally Rose, Larry Vuckovich and Burt Bales, among numerous others. He officially retired in 1993, but ahead of that was gigging at least five evenings each week in the Fairmont Resort. Among the clarinetist’s last recordings premiered in 1991, a tribute to traditional jazz helmed by pianist Vuckovich and entitled CLASSIC Days Are AT THIS TIME. About good old times, it had been columnist Plant Caen who organized a meeting between your blind clarinetist and idol Goodman. Caen, who regularly published about the hilly city’s jazz, loved to provide snippets regarding Cattolica, occasionally quoting him on numerous subjects appealing. Caen brought Cattolica to Goodman’s interest in the first ’70s. As the consequence of them actually conference in 1972, Goodman provided Cattolica some free of charge personal lessons. He also finished up offering Cattolica a clarinet. Within a 1986 column, Caen details Goodman looking into a Fairmount Resort gig of which Cattolica was keeping forth with Jimmy Diamond’s music group. “Egged on with the group,” Caen had written, “He lent Vince Cattolica’s clarinet and didn’t also wipe from the mouthpiece. That’s classy.”

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