Gaspare “Gap” Mangione is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and bandleader, who was born and raised in Rochester. He has recorded ten solo albums appeared on 6 of Chucks and more.
Gap’s younger brother is Grammy-winning flugelhornist Chuck Mangione (“Feels So Good”) who was inducted into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame at the 2012 ceremony. Members of a music-loving family, both Gap and Chuck took up instruments as children and 1958 they started performing together as the Jazz Brothers, eventually recording three albums.
During his college days at Syracuse University, Gap was house pianist at the 1,200-seat Three Rivers Inn Theater Restaurant and played in big bands accompanying the likes of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Nat King Cole.
Gap released his first solo album in 1968, featuring drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Tony Levin in their first recordings, and new compositions and arrangements by Chuck Mangione, who conducted as well. Gap can be heard on 10 recordings with Chuck Mangione. From 1972 through 1982, Gap toured the United States, also performing in Mexico, Canada and Europe. He also regularly has appeared as featured guest artist on Chuck Mangione’s orchestra tours and recordings.
In the 1980s, Mangione began to spend more time playing in and around Rochester. He formed in 1990 the Gap Mangione New Big Band, which remains the premier dance and concert big band in the Rochester area. The 14-piece New Big Band has released several CDs.
Along the way, Gap recorded and released the album “The Boys From Rochester“ with Chuck and Steve Gadd and his jazz quintet opened for and accompanied Dizzy Gillespie in concert, by personal invite from Dizzy.
A six-part television series, “Gap’s Generation,” hosted by Gap Mangione was released and syndicated on PBS. Gap and Chuck came together for the 25th Anniversary Reunion Tour of The Jazz Brothers, which traveled coast to coast. Videotaped highlights of the tour were featured nationally on CBS News Sunday Morning. The Danny DeVito movie The Ratings Game included Gap’s playing of his composition “She & I” and other recorded performances.
Gap received the Artist of the Year Award from the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester in 2004. He has been a guest soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest and plays at the Blue Note and Knickerbocker jazz clubs in New York City.