The Jazz Guitar Community took another hit on February 2nd as news of Joe Diorio’s death flooded the social media landscape with anecdotal reminisces and somber homages.
Considered a Guitarist’s Guitarist, Joe had been on the scene for a little over six decades and his reputation – while not always in the spotlight – was one akin to the most cherished of sages and mentors as he was considered a player and educator of the highest order. Grammy nominated Jazz Guitarist David Becker told Jazz Guitar Life in a 2016 interview:
“Well, Joe is not only my dear friend and mentor, but he is like a musical father figure to me! His presence in my life at the time I was seeking a way to understand this music was so important. He recognized my strengths and weaknesses and helped me follow my passion. We never did one on one lessons per se, I just hung and watched, listened and learned. I also went to all of his gigs from about 1980-1982 and recorded everything on my little cassette player! Joe once said, “I know you have your influences, but you always sound like David Becker and that’s a good thing”.David Becker – Jazz Guitar Life interview – Jazz Guitar Life Podcast
Becker’s experiences with Joe as a teacher and mentor appears to resonate similarly amongst all those who knew him personally given the mass of Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram stories and hopefully more than a personal phone call or two amongst friends. No doubt about it, Joe Diorio was respected and loved and will sorely be missed. And while his recorded legacy is somewhat hard to find commercially, his educational legacy is easier to come by thankfully.
If you have any personal stories about Joe that you would like to share with the Jazz Guitar Life community, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be sure to add them to a Joe Diorio Tribute page I am working on. Thank you.
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