John Tropea

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John Tropea
Born (1946-01-07) January 7, 1946 (age 71)
New York City, U.S.
Genres Pop, funk, smooth jazz, soul jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Labels Video Arts, DMP

John Tropea (born January 7, 1946 in New York City) is an American guitarist who has played with Billy Cobham, Eumir Deodato, Laura Nyro, Harry Chapin, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, and Dr. John.


Tropea began guitar studies at the age of 12. His musical education continued at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied jazz guitar, harmony, Musical composition, and big band arranging. Immediately after arriving in Boston, Tropea began playing live R & B and jazz gigs with many different bands in the area, including The Three Degrees. Influenced by Wes Montgomery, Johnny Smith, Luiz Bonfá, Pat Martino, and George Benson, it was at this time that Tropea began to absorb those influences into an original style of his own. Also among his mentors at the time were the great Hammond B3 Organ players Jack McDuff and Jimmy Smith.

After Berklee, Tropea recorded and toured with Eumir Deodato. Moving to New York City in 1967, Tropea quickly became one of the most sought after session players. He soon became a peer among New York’s finest studio musicians. In 1974, he played on Van Morrison's "Bulbs" and "Cul de Sac" included on the album, Veedon Fleece and issued as the single. As well as world touring, Tropea wrote and produced three critically acclaimed solo albums with TK records.

His first solo album Tropea, was released in 1975, followed by Short Trip to Space, and To Touch You Again. With those early recordings and other projects, Tropea formed close musical alliances with other leading New York musicians including David Spinozza, Warren Bernhardt, David Sanborn, Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson, Don Grolnick, and Richard Tee.

Tropea has written and arranged music for film and broadcast advertising. With his frequent co-producer and friend Will Lee, Tropea released Simple Way to say 'I Love You' , and Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blues, live gigs from that era by The Tropea Band at Mikell's, in New York City, remain legendary. He also composed the song "Tambourine", which was used as the close for WABC's Eyewitness News broadcasts from 1977 to 1980. Along with his own projects, Tropea currently plays with the Original Blues Brothers Band.



  • Tropea (Video Arts, 1975)
  • Short Trip to Space (Video Arts, 1977)
  • To Touch You Again (Video Arts, 1979)
  • Live at Mikell's (Video Arts, 1982)
  • NYC Cats (DMP 1986)
  • A Simple Way to Say I Love You (Video Arts, 1997)
  • Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blues (Video Arts, 1999)
  • Standard Influence (Video Arts, 2003)
  • Standard Influence II: Rock Candy (Video Arts, 2005)
  • Tropea 10: The Time Is Right (Video Arts, 2007)
  • Take Me Back to the Ol' School (STP, 2007)
  • Gotcha Rhythm Right Here (STP, 2014)

Guest appearances[edit]

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