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3068 Main Street
Phone: 585-538-6500
Fax: 585-538-2669
Joseph Santora

Joseph J. Santora

Friday, November 11th, 1949 - Monday, January 20th, 2020
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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.
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Suzann Zoltner

Posted at 12:03am
We were the kids on the block...Oakmont. We played in the parking lot behind the A&P and Hens and Kelly before the expressway was put in. Joey and I both took piano lessons and encouraged each other. He was incredibly talented. We met after many years about 3 years ago when I surprised him at the restaurant he was playing. What a sweet, wonderful reunion we had. I am so thankful I went. I shall miss his Friday and Saturday MMT's. We have lost a treasure.

Gregory McPike

Posted at 10:20am
I was a piano student of Joeys in the 80's while attending college for music. Not only was Joe the poster child of "cool" but he was the absolute best in his craft. He shared his knowledge and talent unselfishly. I learned many things from him not only musically but lessons in humility as well. Sincere condolences to his family. A legend in the local jazz community. Greg McPike

Sharon Bennett

Posted at 07:14pm
From the moment I heard of his death, my fondest memory flooded my mind. I see him sitting at the piano in his living room when he was about 10 years old. He was playing "Swinging Shepherd Blues". When I spoke with him on the phone several years ago , he informed me that was the song he played at his first recital. Play with the angels Joey!

Daniel J Sullivan

Posted at 10:42pm
Joe had the best left hand bass line of any pianist I ever heard. He was a genius and all around great guy. I too am a pianist so I know what I’m talking about. I’m devastated by his passing. Danny Knuckles Sullivan

Daniel DiGiore

Posted at 09:17pm
Sorry to here such sad news. I will cherish the memories of hearing Joe practice on his piano when we were young boys ❤️He will be forever missed. RIP Cuz❤️Love Cuz Danny DiGiore ❤️

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