Diana Ross, Billy Joel, and the last play at Shea
John is a well known and established saxophonist, best known for his work with Diana Ross and his association with Billy Joel, and being a part of the Movin’ Out musical. After Movin’ Out, he continued to work with Tony nominated Michael Cavanaugh, playing the music of Billy Joel and more with symphonies all over the world.
He has recorded and performed with many music icons, including: Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, Ricky Martin, Hall and Oates, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, BB King, and Billy Joel, just for starters. Besides working with Diana Ross, he performs with quite a variety of bands, as well as working with Funk Filharmonik, and with the Billy Joel Tribute band, ”Big Shot” led by Mike DelGuidice. John’s versatility allows him to pursue many avenues of the music culture and many styles of music.
John has had many highlights throughout his career, including as musical director and co-musical director for the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Awards, since it’s inception since 2004. He was asked by Billy Joel to join his band for the historic “Last Play at Shea,” the last two concerts at Shea Stadium where the band was joined by such icons as Don Henley, John Mellencamp, Tony Bennett, Steven Tyler, Roger Daltry, and Garth Brooks. As if that were not enough, Sir Paul McCartney closed out the second show.
Funk Filaharmonic, Tower of Power, and East 4th Horns
John took up the saxophone at an early age and later attended Berklee School of Music and studied with many teachers, including Joseph Viola. While continuing his studies in Boston, he was hired by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. When John went back to New York City, he was soon auditioning for Funk Filharmonik and was hired. At the same time, he and John Wheeler started another horn section they called the “East 4th Horns,” and quickly became men-in-demand horn section. In 1996, John received a dream phone call from Emilio Castillo of Tower of Power. Shortly after John sent the demo, he was in the band and stayed through 1999.
Video interview with John Scarpulla