Joe Delia

Performer

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Joe Delia began performing on stage at the age of 14.   As a piano player, he backed up  such greats as Stevie Wonder, Keith Richards, Dave Edmunds, Grace Slick, Pat Benatar, and Bruce Springsteen, to name a few. 


Over the years, as a studio keyboardist, arranger, and musical director, he worked with Martin Short, Nathan Lane, Grace Slick, Dave Edmunds, Dusty Springfield, Janice Ian, Peter Noone, Gary Bonds, Dr. John, David Johansen, Englebert Humperdinck, Danish Star Kim Larsen, Britt Eklund, and Richard Belzer.   


Delia is currently on tour promoting his most recent CD "Absolution", rocking houses up and down the East Coast.

Composer

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Pictured above at the Cannes Film festival with his wife, PJ, at the premiere of Alive in France, which features both Joe and PJ onscreen.   This film is but one of the many films of Abel Ferrara for whom Joe has composed scores over the years (King of New York, Bad Lieutenant, The Funeral, Ms 45, and The Addiction).  Delia is currently scoring the second of two features directed by Ferrara and starring Willem Dafoe, Siberia.  Among the more than 30 of Delia's other film and television credits Are Carlito's Way (Rise to Power), Substitute II, The Tao of Steve,  Dellaventura, War of the Worlds, multiple episodes of the PBS hit series NOVA and the Emmy Award-winning series Lost Civilizations

Delia was Composer-in-Residence at Sarah Lawrence college from 1976 to 1979.  His earliest credit as a composer was co-writing and singing the first song that was ever performed on national TV (The Ed Sullivan Show) by Jim Hensons Muppets!)

Educator

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Mr. Delia's  approach to teaching has all to do with flexibility.   No two students have the same goals, interests or reasons for taking lessons. The curriculum is based on those factors.


Piano studies range from a formal classical approach,  to studies in Jazz, pop, blues, and rock.

Students range in age from 5 to 70.  



Joe Delia Full Bio

Joe Delia was born in Brooklyn New York, the fourth of thirteen children. His family moved to the suburbs in the fifties, and in time began studying piano. By age thirteen a group was formed with his older brothers and thus began a run of about four years of performing and recording. Originally called the Delia Brothers and eventually becoming the Bruthers, the group was signed to Sid Bernstein and then to RCA records, putting out one single called Bad Way to Go, which charted and eventually became a garage classic.  Along the way, Joe became the first voice of the Muppets, both singing and co-writing the first Muppet performance on the Ed Sullivan show. Writing and performing jingles for national ads, appearing in national print ad campaigns and eventually being chosen by Bernard Gersten of the New York Shakespeare festival to star in Joseph Papp's production of the the show Lollapalooza which toured throughout the summer of 1967, were among his notable achievements as a teen. 

When the group disbanded, Delia embarked on a career in the studios of New York as a pianist and arranger. Among the artists he has been hired to play keyboards, arrange records and tour with are :  Grace Slick, Pat Benetar, Adam Sandler, Richard Belzer, Helen Schneider, Dave Edmunds, Dusty Springfield, Cissy Houston, Cory Daye, Englebert Humperdinck, VIcky Sue Robinson, Little Eva, Chuck Berry, David Johansen, Johnny Thunders, Janice Ian, John Raitt, Stevie Wonder, Martin Short, Nathan Lane, and Bruce Springsteen. Most recently playing keyboards for singer Rufus Wainwright  on tracks for the Warner Bros/JJ Abrams-Stephen King   show Castle Rock.

Mr. Delia's film scoring career began in the eighties upon meeting director Abel Ferrara, which began a collaboration that lasts until today.  The film credits with Ferrara include: The Bad Lieutenant, King of New York, The Addiction, The Blackout, Ms. 45,

Fear City, The Funeral, Dangerous Game, Driller Killer, and Subway Stories (produced by Jonathan Demme). He performed in and wrote music for the Dutch Oven episode of Miami Vice which was also directed by Ferrara. Through that decade, Delia also collaborated with Danish superstar Kim Larsen, producing, performing and co-composing two albums that both went gold and platinum in Scandinavia (Jungledreams, and Sitting on a Time Bomb). Academia later came calling, and for two years was named composer in residence at Sarah Lawrence College under the direction of Shirley Kaplan, and June Ekart.  He was co-founder and musical director (for six years) of the Buster Poindexter act, yielding the ubiquitous hit Hot, Hot, Hot, and the album of the same title, which he is credited as arranger and musical director. 

From the nineties to the present day, he has scored full seasons of episodic TV shows including War of the Worlds for Paramount, Digging for the Truth for History Channel, the Dellaventura TV series starring Danny Aiello for CBS, the Emmy award winning docu series for NBC/Time Life titled Lost Civilizations. Collaborations with long time friend Richard Belzer resulted in comedy specials for HBO and Showtime as well as regular concert tours. Delia also produced a series of Jazz records for Music Masters/BMG for artists Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, Jim Hall and Louis Bellson.  Other scoring credits include, a number of documentary series' for History and Discovery Channel and multiple episodes of Nova for PBS, produced by Paula Apsell. Delia also composed scores to other feature films including Carlito's Way (rise to power), The Substitute (2), Fever (directed by Alex Winter) and the Sundance award winning film The Tao of Steve produced by Ted Hope.  

From 2016 to 2018 Joe Delia has composed scores for four new Abel Ferrara titles and is presently beginning to compose the score of Ferrara's up and coming feature titled Siberia, starring Willem Dafoe. 

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Education


  • Private Piano Study from 1960 until 1972                                                    Elizabeth Keesler, Arthur Cunningham, David Carey,                                        Lee Tompson, Barry Weinberg, J. Vinson Hill


  • Rockland Community College 1968                                                                  Studied Music Theory With Ed Simon


  • Rockland Community College 1969-70 (College "A") Liberal Arts Program


  • Berklee College of Music Composition Courses 1972                                                               Electric Bass Study with Major Holley 1972


  • Private Bass Viol Study from 1972-1974                                                              Eddie Gomez, Ronnie Naspo, Jimmy Garrison


  • Orchestration Master Class with Don Sebesky 1975-76 semester


  • Film Scoring Maser Class with Don Sebesky.    1976 semester


  • Composer in Residence/ Sarah Lawrence College.    1976 through 1978


  •  Private Composition,Theory and Counterpoint Study                                                                with David Diamond at Julliard 1985 

                              

Awards

  • Composer of the 1995 EMMY Award winning series                                         LOST CIVILIZATIONS/NBC - Time Life


  • New York Music Award.                                                                                             Arranger and Music Director Best Rock Album Solo                                    Buster Poindexter.  RCA Records  1988


  • New York Music Award.                                                                                             Composer/Producer    Best Song/Independant Label                                           "I Ain't Workin' Anymore"  Artist David Johansen.   1988


  • Platinum Record                                                                                                                                                            Producer Kim Larsen Jungle Dreams 1981 CBS Records Denmark


  • Platinum Record                                                                                                                                                               Producer Kim Larsen Jungle Dreams 1981 CBS Records Sweden


  • Gold Record                                                                                                                                                                      Producer Kim Larsen/ Jungle Dreams 1981 CBS Records Denmark

                                                                                                                                                                    

  • Gold Record                                                                                                                                                                        Producer Kim Larsen/ Jungle Dreams 1981 CBS Records Sweden


  • Gold Record                                                                                                                                                                               Producer Kim Larsen /Jungle Dreams 1981 CBS Records France.               for the number one single in France "Donnez Moi Du Feu


  • Gold Record                                                                                                                                                                             Producer Kim Larsen/ Sitting on a Time Bomb                                               1982 CBS Records Denmark


  • Gold Record                                                                                                                                                                              Producer Kim Larsen/ Sitting on a Time Bomb                                               1982 CBS Records Sweden