“Count” Lewis de Pasquale

According to his obituary and an online site where several mementos of his friendship with comedian Lenny Bruce were auctioned, Lewis de Pasquale was a Trenton-born jazz organist who accompanied such notables as Ella Fitzgerald,  Sarah Vaughan and Sonny Stitt.  At the time of his death on September 26, 2001 at the age of 71, […]

John Coles, Jr.

From the Trentonian obituary: TRENTON – Local jazz great, Johnnie Coles, 89, departed this life to be with the Lord on Thursday, Mar. 24, 2011, at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton. Johnnie was a native Trentonian born to the late John W. Sr. and Virginia Lacy Coles. He was also preceded in death […]

Peter Lauffer

Peter Lauffer is a pianist and educator who made his debut with the Trenton Symphony in 1973, according to his website. He regularly performs with Richie Cole. He also has an extensive resume as a music educator at Westminister Choir College, The College of New Jersey, Mercer County Community College,  and several secondary institutions in […]

Wenonah Brooks

Wenonah Brooks is a jazz singer in the tradition of a Sarah Vaughan or Ella Fitzgerald – the kind of singer for whom melody is central. She credits her approach to music to her grandfather, a preacher who had been a singer as young man. The Hopewell, New Jersey native began her singing career as […]

Wilford “Bill” Holcomb

Wilford “Bill” Holcombe (1924-2010) was a flutist, saxophonist, composer arranger known for his work with such prominent musicians as Tommy Dorsey and Peter Nero, as well as his film scores.  He also founded Musicians Publications. A graduate of Trenton High school and Julliard, he remained in the area throughout his life.  He began playing with […]

Frank Sinatra

“Old Blue Eyes” was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, but he performed in Trenton on several occasions and was a familiar face at his favorite restaurants in the Chambersburg section of the city. Trenton was also where he fulfilled a less pleasant obligation: testifying before the New Jersey State Investigative Commission on his alleged ties […]

Tom Littwin

Tom Littwin is a jazz bassist who has worked with such notable artists as Richie Cole, Gerald Veasley and Clifford Adams in addition to leading his own trio. He performs regularly at local venues, including Trenton’s Candlelight club.  During the fall of 2016, he was a student researcher on the Trenton Makes Music project.   […]

Warren Vaughn

Warren Vaughn was a jazz pianist and vocalist whose talent was evident even in his youth in Trenton. While he was still a student at the New Lincoln School, he was chosen to accompany Paul Robeson in concert. Vaughn became  popular supper club performer in venues throughout the continental US and Puerto Rico. Here is […]

William “Bill” Lacy

William “Bill” Lacy (1927-2015) was an Army musician, jazz club owner and the leader of the Bill Lacy Quartet. He also played trumpet and flugelhorn in a number of local ensembles, such as the Philadelphia Clef Club orchestra.As a child, he also played trumpet in the Colored YMCA band at Trenton’s Carver Center (pictured below). […]

Tony DeNicola

Anthony “Tony” Emedio DeNicola (September 2, 1927 – September 2, 2006) was a jazz drummer and educator best known for his work with Harry James, Clark Terry and Kenny Davern.  The Lawrenceville native was also a professor at The College of New Jersey and the founder of College’s Jazz Ensemble. According to one obituary, DeNicola’s […]