A member of “Rochester’s first family of jazz,” Gap Mangione is considered a central figure in Rochester’s jazz history. And with dinner guests such as Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughn, it’s clear he had some great role models for developing his own prowess on the piano. While at Eastman, Gap’s sextet gained national acclaim, performing at legendary jazz festivals, such as the Randall’s Island Jazz Festival which also featured Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, “Cannonball” Adderly, John Coltrane, and more (believe it or not!).
In 1960, with the help of an “admiring” Cannonball Adderly, Gap and his brother Chuck released their first album, The Jazz Brothers, with Riverside Records. Going on to release seven more records and open for greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Gap cemented his status within the jazz world, and now finds time to foster this love of jazz in his home Rochester community through various local performances.