Celebrating the Life of Joe Vito!

“Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe”  If you knew Joe you would agree that those words summed it up well!  Last June my father’s best friend passed away in his home in Northbrook.  He was a musical legend in this city. Joe was so funny and full of life!  People would naturally light up when he was in the room.  The thing that touched me most was that he and my father would share a phone conversation every day.  I did not know that until recently but he made my father laugh literally every single day and for that alone I am grateful!  When my father would have a hard day or have a funny story to tell he wouldn’t think of calling anyone but Joe first!  He was a great friend, a talented & accomplished musician & a great family man!  As a little girl I remember going to Toulouse to see Joe and Johnny Frigo on Monday nights.  When you were there you were thoroughly entertained by both the beautiful music they would make together and their hilarious jokes!  Johnny would share a poem or two with us as well.  They were such characters.

Joe has worked with many musical legends including Frank Sinatra & Luciano Pavarotti.  He was a versatile artist playing both in jazz clubs and on stage at the Lyric Opera.  He played hundreds of commercial jingles and was the go to band leader at corporate events for Florsheim, Whirlpool & McDonalds.  Joe met his wife Carole when they were studio musicians at WBBM.  She was a big band singer and I’m not at all surprised to find out he was the “class clown”!  Right before he passed away they were able to finish a CD they made together entitled “Everything I Love”.  Joe is survived by daughters Amy Vitaterna-Krisolofsky and Julie Strasser, a son Joe; Jacqueline Pietrucha, and five granddaughters.  He will be missed beyond measure!!

On Monday, November 8, 2010 family & friends gathered for a wonderful Memorial concert for Joe.  It was filled with laughter and tears and some great talent!  Special musical guests included Ron Hawking, Audrey Morris, Rachel Barton Pine, Paulinho Garcia, Frank D’Rone, Mark Madsen, Sean Harris, Anthony Rago, Frank Caruso, Joe Longo, Larry Novak, KT McCammond, Anne & Mark Burnell, Rich Daniels and The City Lights Orchestra.  All of these musicians donated their time and talent for the event.  Special Guests included Bill Kurtis & Andrew Patner.

I was honored when asked to provide the photography for the evening!  Here are some of the highlights of the evening.  To view the entire gallery go to www.pictage.com/939739 and pre-register.  Once all of the images are available online you will be notified automatically via email and are welcome to view all of the images of the night!!  Enjoy!


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