JOHN COCUZZI, from the Washington DC area, is recognized by many as one of the most versatile, talented and exciting musicians to come along in quite a while. An intuitive performer, he possesses the musical fire-in-the-belly that ignites a crowd as John tells his story through high-energy, spirited solos that often elicit standing ovations.

John is known for his dynamic style on vibes, piano, vocals and drums. For 20 years, he has been performing at jazz festivals in the United States and in Europe. The early years of his musical career were spent playing drums and piano, but John has since earned a reputation as the East Coast's Premier Swing Vibraphonist. He swings in any genre though, be it classic jazz and blues, big band, Latin, as well as more modern styles.

John performs in and around Washington, DC with his own trio/quartet and has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian’s IMAX Jazz Café, the Corcoran Art Gallery, the Lincoln Center in New York City, and Blues Alley, Washington DC’s premier jazz club. When he’s not on tour, he performs every Sunday afternoon at the Gordon Biersch Restaurant (9th & F St, NW Washington DC) for Sunday Jazz Brunch with two of DC’s best musicians, John Previti on bass and Big Joe Maher on drums.

John has recorded 4 albums as leader and appears on dozens of others with classic artists such as: Randy Reinhart, Randy Sandke, Ed Polcer, Ken Peplowski, Allan Vaché, Dan Barrett, John Allred, Russ Phillips, Andy Stein, Skitch Henderson, Bucky and John Pizzarelli, Milt Hinton, Phil Flanigan, Frank Tate, Ed Metz, Jr., Joe Ascione, and Daryl Sherman.

John has also played alongside Warren Vaché, Evan Christopher, Tom Saunders, Jim Galloway, Kim Cusack, Bill Allred, George Masso, Dan Levinson, Dan Block, Eddie Erickson, Paul Keller, Murray Wall, Nicki Parrott, and Rebecca Kilgore.

On the radio, John recorded a session for NPR’s “Riverwalk: Live at The Landing” with the Jim Cullum Band. It was a tribute to Benny Goodman, “The Swing Shift: Jazz on Late-Night Radio,” and featured Allan Vaché on clarinet with Nicholas Payton on trumpet.

For 15 years, John was the music director for the 219 Restaurant’s BASIN STREET LOUNGE in Old Town, Alexandria, VA. His skills as a music director have also been seen at the Crystal City Jazz Celebration, a jazz party in the DC area, where John has worked since its inception (2003) to provide the best musicians performing in classic jazz today.

Recent tours with Ed Polcer have also included educational programs for grades K-8 and college level clinics involving demonstrations, information, technique, and performance, where they discuss America’s original art form—Jazz and Blues—and the instruments and musicians that made classic jazz what it is today.

John also does composing and arranging for jazz and other styles, and he does studio recording/mixing for classic jazz and swing. Visit the Music page to hear samples of some of his recordings.

For more info please visit


Swingin' and Burnin' (#06652)


(click to enlarge)