Longo was born and raised in Lodi as Pasquale Pizolongo and was inspired to become a musician in eighth grade in 1943. Longo played the clarinet and alto saxophone for four years in the high school band and orchestra and continues with those instruments today.
After serving in the military, he attended college in California as a music major and joined up with legendary jazz bands out there.“I was going to college and started playing with Latin Bands on the weekends,” Longo said.
In 1972, Longo said he received a call from Lee Castle, the leader of the Jimmy Dorsey Band, for an invitation to play saxophone in the band.
Then in 1975, Frank “Pee Wee” Monte, the leader of the Harry James Orchestra, called Longo as a fill in.
“It was supposed to be only for one night because one of their saxophone players was in trouble,” he said. “Harry stood right in front of me for 45 minutes for the first set and at a break he had the manager tell me that Harry wanted me to join the band.” Longo was part of the Harry James Band until 1978. That year he left Harry and started his own band – the Hollywood East Coast Band.
Longo’s band has played for Rod Stewart’s wedding, played songs for HBO’s ‘The Sopranos’ episodes, the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball, and many other gala events.
Rutherfurd Hall is located at 1686 Route 517, Allamuchy Township. For tickets, visit www.rutherfurdhall.tix.com
or call 908-852-1894.