Joe Holiday

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Joseph Befumo, better known as Joe Holiday (born 10 May 1925), is an American jazz saxophonist, who was born in Sicily.

The father of the Befumo family played clarinet. In 1925 the family emigrated to the United States, taking residence in Newark, New Jersey, where young Joseph picked up his father's instrument and mastered it. While still in his teens he began forming musical groups, and obtained his first recording contract (with King Records) in 1949. He had adopted the stage name "Joe Holiday" before the recording contract date.

Holiday played hard bop early in his career, but is best known for his adaptations of mambo style. Many of his sessions included members of Machito's ensemble, the Afro-Cubans. He had a hit with "This Is Happiness" in the U.S. in 1951, and recorded for Prestige Records with Max Roach and Billy Taylor. Sarah Vaughan recorded his composition "Serenada". His album "Holiday for Jazz" still sells in Europe and England.

Holiday also does abstract painting. He and his wife, Kelly Holiday, are president and vice-president, respectively, of the St. Lucie Professional Arts League based in Port St. Lucie, FL, where he presents annual "Art & All That Jazz" events, which have included Linda Cole (singer and daughter of Nat King Cole), Miami musicians Ira Sullivan, violinist Nicola Yearling and pianist Lenore Raphael.[1]


With Larry Young


  1. ^ [1] Port St. Lucie Hometown News, 30 March 2007 p. A1, "Weekend of Jazz, Art on Tap"