A brief history
Joe Turano is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer/arranger born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He began singing and playing piano at age three following in the footsteps of his mother, an accomplished pianist, vocalist and songwriter. Joe began writing and arranging at the age of eight , and not long afterwards began performing as a vocalist and keyboardist with a series of local groups.
After high school Los Angeles beckoned and he packed up his little red VW bug and made the move. Joe’s unique voice immediately began attracting attention and a series of production/management deals ensued. In the interim he began working as a waiter to pay the bills. The restaurant was the iconic “Great American Food And Beverage Company”, a celeb hangout in Santa Monica, where you had to audition to get a job. In that high pressure atmosphere where talent abounded, Joe honed his singing and songwriting skills. It was here that he met Rickie Lee Jones and began working extensively on both preproduction and recording for her highly acclaimed first album, “Rickie Lee Jones”, opening the door to a prolific studio career as a session vocalist.
Over the next 10 years or so he sang on albums for artists like Rod Stewart, Cher, Tina Turner, and Joe Cocker, to name but a few. He also was featured lead vocalist for Alphonso Johnson's band “Out” on Electra as well as lead vocalist for the band “Zuma II” on Sony. Along the way he dusted off his piano skills, picked up the saxophone, and began reasserting himself as an instrumentalist as well. This led to a gig touring with Michael Bolton on keys, sax, and vocals which lasted for most of the 1990's.
In the spring of 2000 he got a call to work with with the legendary Al Jarreau, a gig which lasted for nearly seventeen years until Al's recent passing, the last eight as musical director. This led to sharing the stage with such luminaries as Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, George Benson, Cassandra Wilson and many many others.
Al’s recording, “Al Jarreau and the Metropole Orkestra Live” which Joe co-produced with Vince Mendoza received a Grammy nomination for “Best Jazz Vocal Album”.
Currently active composing music for television and staying fluent on the instruments.