Joe Bruno Jr. - Bass
Joe Bruno Jr. who played trumpet from the age of 11 to 18. and bass since 15 Has been a professional musician since the mid 1970's when he bailed out his dad on a new years eve gig after the electric piano malfunctioned, the bassist switched to guitar and Joe jr., then 16 played the bass and picked up the chord changes by ear to most of the songs the band played. He quit his hard rock band shortly after and ended up playing around the Tampa Bay area with his dad, sister Debbie and brother in-law Lance. In 1977, Joe decided after 1 year at Manatee Jr. College to audition for the Navy Band on trumpet. At the audition, I mentioned that I played the bass. The threw all they could at me and decided that they needed a bass player more than a trumpet player. I was accepted on bass and tuba( no experience at all), he went on delayed entry and took tuba lessons and switched my major at Manatee to bass after playng 2nd chair trumpet. After performing in the Navy Band for 4 years, he toured the US in bands performing nearly every form of popular music including Dixieland, Bluegrass, Country, Rock, Swing, Jazz, Blues 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's until becoming a stock broker in the late 80's. While in Sarasota, Joe Jr. started a jazz group at the New York Deli which hosted various area musicians who would come and sit in with the band. Band members included the legendary John LaPorta and other artists Kenny Drew Jr, Tony Jefferson, Don Riddell, Art Seigel, Mark Fox, Greg Neilsen and many other visiting musical guests. Joe Jr. also performed with the Fred Williams trio from 89 through the early 90's at the Paradise Cafe. He would also perform with his dad and the Dixieland Hotdogs as well as performing in countless shows and gigs locally around Florida with and without the Bruno Connection. After leaving the financial business in the late 90's he became involved with Charlie Parker Memorial Foundation and International Jazz Hall of Fame Founder Eddie Baker of Kansas City, MO. Eddie helped Joe with ideas that would help the jazz not for profit, "Pass the Torch Music Mentoring Program" and lead into pop music experimental classes joe would develop after Eddies passing in late 2001. After touring with the Ringling Brothers Circus from 2004 to 2006, Joe would continue development of concepts that would help revive the almost dead live popular music business which he started developing with the president of the AFM in Orlando in 2002. Joe is now putting it all together as the "Intitute for Popular American Music Innovation (IPOP), which is just starting it's first regular classes and developing the new business strategies that will put more musicians to work for a fair wage through participation with local venues.