Singer Keely Smith, the “straight man” (woman) for the late, great Louis Prima (“Just A Gigolo”) has been joined in her New York and East Coast concert and nightclub tours by much sought-after jazz drummer Joe Cocuzzo. He also recently completed work on her CD, Keely Smith, Live At Feinstein’s, which is due for release later this year.
“I was happy to get the call to work with Keely on the East Coast,” Joe says. “She wants a drummer who can cut some very difficult charts, and I was recommended.” Cocuzzo has also recently recorded a trio album with vocalist Barbara Carroll and bassist Jay Leonhart called Live At Birdland, which will be out shortly.
Cocuzzo has enjoyed a very successful career. He’s worked with such greats as Tony Bennett, Harry James, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Ray McKinley And The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Benny Goodman Band, Vic Damone, Errol Garner, Benny Golson, Zoot Sims, and Phil Woods. Joe was also the regular drummer for the late Rosemary Clooney. He also continues to work regularly with Michael Feinstein and vocalist Barbara Carroll, and appears in clubs and in concert with The Trio, featuring midi-accordionist Eddie Monteiro and guitarist Lenny Argese.