Redwood Coast Music Festival 2018 Performing Artist
Led by multi-instrumentalists and vocalists John and Kristy Cocuzzi, The Cocuzzi Courtet grooves with passion and intensity, taking the audience on a fantastic musical journey. An intuitive performer on the piano, vibraphones, and drums, John ignites the crowd with skillful improvisation and an ability to make his instruments sing, while Kristy’s emotional voice is reminiscent of Peggy Lee. The combination of John’s weathered croon and Kristy’s passionate, sultry voice adds a dynamic edge to their sound.
Individally their resume includes performing alongside jazz and blues greats such as Bucky Pizzarelli, Duke Heitger, Allan Vache, Ken Peplowski, Dave Bennett, Harry Allen, Antti Sarpila, as well as touring throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
John Cocuzzi has New Orleans flavor and East Coast class, playing with passion and intensity on piano, vibes and drums. For more than 25 years, John has been entertaining crowds in the Washington, DC area and performing alongside jazz and blues greats at festivals across the United States and in Europe. With dynamic style and diverse rhythms, John's innovation breathes new life into familiar tunes, from swingin' and burnin' jazz and blues to lush and sultry ballads. An intuitive performer, John possesses that musical "fire in the belly," igniting the crowd with skillful improvisation, "telling his story" through spirited, high-energy solos. In addition to being a fine pianist, John has earned a nationwide reputation as a premier swing vibraphonist. He now lives in Northern California, spreading the jazz/blues/swing gospel in the Sacramento area as a soloist and bandleader, and working with the finest musicians in town. Famous jazz drummer Louie Bellson called John a "Gentleman of Jazz" and hired John's band to perform at his wedding reception in 1992.
Kristy Reed Cocuzzi has a sultry voice that has thrilled audiences all over for 30 years, and was featured on vocals, sax and clarinet with Big Tiny Little for almost 10 years. She has toured as lead alto, clarinet, & vocalist with the “Live Lawrence Welk Show” throughout the United States and Canada, and as a member of the “Champagne Music Makers” at the Welk Resort in Branson, Missouri. She is also part of the Wunnerful Women of Welk vocal quartet, alongside MaryLou Metzger, Ava Barber, and Gail Farrell. She has performed on cruise lines, worked with the Temptations, Franki Valli, the Russ Morgan Orchestra, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the Cab Callaway orchestra, the Drifters, and has appeared alongside great musicians including Dave Bennett, Arthur Duncan, Sandor Benko, Jack Imel, Mike Vax, and Anacani. She has worked the casino circuits in Reno, Carson City, Laughlin, and Las Vegas, and continues to keep a presence on the national jazz festival and jazz party circuit. Locally she is high in demand, with Sensible Sounds, the Cocuzzi Duo, Trio and “Courtet”, and various local artists.
John Cocuzzi - piano, vibes, vocals
Kristy Cocuzzi - clarinet, sax, vocals
Bryan Kilfoil - drums
Steve Pikal – bass