|Born||January 7, 1946|
New York City, U.S.
|Genres||Pop, funk, smooth jazz, soul jazz|
|Labels||Video Arts, DMP|
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. After arriving in Boston, Tropea began playing jazz and R&B with local bands, including The Three Degrees. He was influenced by Wes Montgomery, Johnny Smith, Luiz Bonfá, Pat Martino, and George Benson. Among his mentors were 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, he became one of the most sought after session players. In 1974, he played on Van Morrison's "Bulbs" and "Cul de Sac" included on the album Veedon Fleece and issued as the single. Tropea wrote and produced three critically acclaimed solo albums for 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 such as Warren Bernhardt, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Steve Gadd, Don Grolnick, Anthony Jackson, David Sanborn, David Spinozza, and Richard Tee.
He played guitar on "Baby Now That I've Found You" recorded by Dan Schafer on Tortoise International Records, an RCA Records subsidiary released in 1977. In March 2012, this version was included on the compilation album, Perhaps...The Very Best of Dan Schafer. He has played with Billy Cobham, Eumir Deodato, Laura Nyro, Harry Chapin, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, and Dr. John. Tropea has written and arranged music for film and broadcast advertising. With his frequent co-producer and friend Will Lee, he released Simple Way to Say 'I Love You' , and Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blues, live performances by The Tropea Band at Mikell's in New York City. He composed the song "Tambourine", which was used as the close for WABC's Eyewitness News broadcasts from 1977 to 1980.
- Tropea (Marlin, 1975)
- Short Trip to Space (Marlin, 1977)
- To Touch You Again (Marlin, 1979)
- Live at Mikell's (Video Arts, 1982)
- NYC Cats Direct (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)
- 1972 Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001 Theme), Eumir Deodato (CTI)
- 1973 Spectrum, Billy Cobham (Atlantic)
- 1973 Deodato 2, Eumir Deodato (CTI)
- 1974 Continental American, Peter Allen (A&M)
- 1974 Whirlwinds, Eumir Deodato (MCA)
- 1974 Artistry, Eumir Deodato (MCA)
- 1974 Big Bad Bo, Bo Diddley (Chess)
- 1974 Many Shades of Blue, Blue Mitchell (Mainstream)
- 1974 Veedon Fleece, Van Morrison
- 1974 Streetlights, Bonnie Raitt (Warner Bros.)
- 1974 Satan, Sonny Stitt (Cadet)
- 1975 First Cuckoo, Eumir Deodato (MCA)
- 1975 Still Crazy After All These Years, Paul Simon (Columbia)
- 1975 Then Came You, Dionne Warwick (Warner Bros.)
- 1976 Smile, Laura Nyro (Columbia)
- 1976 Black Widow, Lalo Schifrin (CTI)
- 1976 Second Childhood, Phoebe Snow (Columbia)
- 1977 Blue Lights in the Basement, Roberta Flack (Atlantic)
- 1977 Intergalactic Touring Band (Passport)
- 1977 Baby Now That I've Found You, Dan Schafer (RCA/Tortoise International)
- 1977 Towering Toccata, Lalo Schifrin (CTI)
- 1977 Ringo the 4th, Ringo Starr (Polydor)
- 1977 Lady Put the Light Out, Frankie Valli (Private Stock)
- 1978 Burchfield Nines, Michael Franks (Warner Bros.)
- 1978 Nested, Laura Nyro (CBS)
- 1978 Songbird, Barbra Streisand (Columbia)
- 1979 I Could Have Been a Sailor, Peter Allen (A&M)
- 1979 Raw Silk, Randy Crawford (Warner Bros.)
- 1979 Yama, Art Farmer with Joe Henderson (CTI)
- 1980 Body Language, Patti Austin (CTI)
- 1980 Red Cab to Manhattan, Stephen Bishop (Warner Bros.)
- 1980 Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway (Atlantic)
- 1980 Morning Dance, Spyro Gyra, (MCA)
- 1981 La Cuna, Ray Barretto
- 1981 Repeat Repeat, Peter Baumann
- 1981 Super Strings, Ron Carter (Milestone)
- 1981 I Got the Melody, Odyssey
- 1982 Anyone Can See, Irene Cara (Network)
- 1982 Gloria Gaynor, Gloria Gaynor (Atlantic)
- 1982 Cityscape, Claus Ogerman/Michael Brecker (Warner Bros.)
- 1982 It's Alright (I See Rainbows), Yoko Ono (Polydor)
- 1983 In My Life, Patti Austin (CTI)
- 1983 Passionfruit, Michael Franks (Warner Bros).
- 1984 Milk and Honey, John Lennon, Yoko Ono (Polydor)
- 1988 CK, Chaka Khan (Warner Bros.)
- 1989 Journeyman, Eric Clapton (Reprise)
- 1996 Gently, Liza Minnelli (Angel)
- Lynam, Robin (13 June 2015). "Guitarist John Tropea and friends keep the jazz-funk flame burning". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
- Jazz, All About (June 20, 2015). "John Tropea: Gotcha Rhythm Right Here". All About Jazz. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
- Amendola, Billy. "A Different View - John Tropea". Modern Drummer Magazine. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
- "Tambourine". SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews. June 2, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
- "John Tropea returns to jazz-funk namesake in 'Gotcha Rhythm Right Here'". AXS. Retrieved December 10, 2017.