Joseph J. Santora, age 70, of Rochester, NY passed away on January 20, 2020.
He is predeceased by his parents Joseph and Lucia Santora of Buffalo; brother Floyd Santora, sister Anna Marie Martelle.
He is survived by his girlfriend Emily Kirchoff; oldest son, Joey (Jennifer); former wife Sarah and their three children, Rachel, Bethany, Joel (Megan) Santora; six grandchildren, Samuel, Oliver, Harrison, Mabel, Millie, and Mira Santora; sister, Shirley Volpe; brother, Donald Santora (Cindy); many nieces and nephews; close friends and fellow performers Curtis Kendrick, Glen Cummings and Terrence Bruce.
Joe was born in Buffalo, NY and studied piano from the age of six. He was an accomplished jazz musician who performed at many Buffalo area venues before going on the road at the age of 20. Joe joined the popular jazz fusion group Cabo Frio in 1978; wrote and recorded several albums together on the MCA record label.
He earned his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from the Eastman School of Music and performed with many notable jazz greats over the course of his career. Joe inspired numerous students as an Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Roberts Wesleyan College. In addition, Joe had many private students who studied with him for college preparation.
Joe performed for guests at Michael’s Valley Grill for the past 15 years, which he proudly called,“The longest gig in Rochester.”
Services will be held privately for the family. A celebration of life is planned in the near future for friends, details to come.