TONY LAVORGNA BIOGRAPHY
Tony LaVorgna was born in New Haven, CT in 1948. His interest in music began at the age of five when his mother started to teach him the piano.
When Tony was twelve he heard his father play "Dark Town Strutter's Ball" on an old "C Melody" saxophone. Tony loved it and by age fourteen he was playing jazz saxophone with a local band.
Around this time he began playing in the pit orchestras for the semi professional shows that were given at his high school and he was especially taken by a production of "The Music Man" which he saw at the Shubert Theater in New Haven.
His love for jazz became a life long passion when he heard bebop jazz king Charlie Parker.
Tony's professional career as a musician continued in 1968 when he toured with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. Throughout the seventies Tony played in dancebands in the Connecticut area.
In 1978 Tony moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he established himself as one of the city's top jazz pianists.
Then in 1984, after the death of his wife Sarah, Tony moved to Atlanta and became one of the best known jazz saxophonists in the southeastern United States.
He formed The Atlanta Allstar Jazz Quartet which quickly garnered honors and awards and toured throughout the region.
In 1988 he moved to Chicago and quickly became part of the Chicago jazz scene.
While living in Chicago Tony got a chance to tour with "Ain't Misbehavin" and was given the opportunity to play several jazz solos during each show.
Combining jazz with theater became an ambition of Tony's so in 1994 he wrote and toured with a swing musical called "Sentimental Journey" which featured jazz and music of the swing era.
When the show closed Tony decided to study big band writing with former Glen Miller arranger Bill Finegan who was living in the Bridgeport area. Tony realized, with Bill's encouragment, that his own compositions were formidible enough to be recognized nationally.
This gave Tony the confidence to write an original musical which bings us to the present.
His new musical called "Bebopman" is based on his graphic novel of the same name and is about his life as a struggling jazz musician.
The show's book is written by Tony and comedian/girlfriend Lois Gilbert who is a nationally recognized comicbook writer.
His long time songwriting partner Alice Schweitzer helped Tony write the lyrics to the songs.
Today Tony lives in Connecticut where he teaches and writes music, and continues to play jazz saxophone throughout the tri-state area.
LOIS GILBERT BIOGRAPHY
Originally from Peekskill, NY Lois Gilbert's creative streak was apparent in high school when she became actively interested in art, theater and music.
At the age of thirty after having been married and divorced Lois decided to return to the stage. She joined a comedy improv workshop in New Haven, CT where they performed a weekly show. Lois realized that being able to make an audience laugh was extremely rewarding so she next enrolled in The New England Academy of Theater for improv and stand-up comedy. There she began to write her own material which she later performed on stages throughout Connecticut.
During this time Lois developed another of her talents, a unique style of cooking. Lois enjoyed making meals only out of what she found in her cupboard and refrigerator. She started to write her recipes down and eventually combined her love of comedy and special culinary creations. This resulted in her first and highly entertaining book "The Emergency Cookbook".
Lois took her comedy act to New York City where she continued to develope her writing skills. Her boyfriend, jazz musician and comic book writer Tony LaVorgna, encouraged her to put her comedy routines in comic book form. Lois eventually had enough material to write her own comic book "Lois" about the trials and tribulations of a single woman living in modern day America. "Lois" has since become nationally acclaimed.
More recently Lois has become the co-writer to the book of Tony LaVorgna's new musical "Bebopman".
Miss Gilbert currently lives in Connecticut where she is working on her next issue of "Lois".
ALICE SCHWEITZER BIOGRAPHY
A native of Youngstown, OH, Alice Schweitzer began her music career in high school as a saxophonist and after college formed a singing group with her sisters called the Woodside Sisters. They moved to New York City where they performed on radio and television and recorded for RCA Victor. Their national tours included engagements at the famous Palace Theatre on Broadway. Moving to Darien, CT to raise a family Alice became active in local music organizations and formed a vocal jazz quartet called Swing Fever. She started writing songs with Tony LaVorgna in the early nineties. They co-wrote a touring musical called Sentimental Journey and have been working on the music for Bebopman for several years. Alice also currently writes for the Park Street Singers, a New Canaan, CT based vocal group.