JazzFest History

Bill DeArango

Awarded: 2003
Born: Cleveland, Ohio

"Arguably the most innovative and technically accomplished guitarist to emerge during the Bebop Era."

- Jason Ankey

Bill DeArango is known mainly to jazz aficionados because of his career-altering decision to leave at the height of success. DeArango led his own group and recorded with a spectrum of stars including Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie who marveled at his single-string solo work. Disillusioned by the increasing commercial pressures of the music industry, DeArango returned home to Cleveland. He opened DeArango Music, a store/teaching studio and mentored countless aspiring students, guiding them toward music careers. The opportunity to record with Teddy Kotick, Art Mardigan and Johnny Williams drew DeArango temporarily to New York to record an LP of jazz standards that featured his contemporary approach to guitar. Later work with Ernie Krivda, Skip Hadden, Joe Lovano and others solidified DeArango’s reputation as a trailblazer.

Bill DeArango's Life
Bill DeArango - New York to Cleveland