Mike Longo

Decades: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


Michael Joseph Longo, 19 March 1939, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Playing piano from an early age, Longo was sufficiently accomplished to play professionally at the age of 15. While still in high school in Florida he performed with visiting jazzman Cannonball Adderley. He also played with Hal McIntyre and then, after graduating from Western Kentucky University in 1959, he became house pianist at New York City’s Metropole Café, backing artists such as Henry ‘Red’ Allen and Coleman Hawkins. Subsequently, he spent a while in Canada where he studied with Oscar Peterson and also formed his own trio. Back in the USA, he established a solid reputation as a singer’s accompanist, playing for Gloria Lynne, Jimmy Rushing, Joe Williams and Nancy Wilson.

From the mid-60s to the mid-70s he played with, and wrote for, Dizzy Gillespie, for whom he was also musical director. Between times he worked with James Moody and Buddy Rich, wrote a...

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