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Maestro Joe Paparone

Who is Joe Paparone? You haven't seen him on TV for a while or heard him on radio for decades. You won't find his name on the dust covers of books nor the sleeves of CDs. He no longer performs. His last public performance was in 2000. Yet he is the greatest music arranger Australia has ever produced and was introduced on stage for 35 years as Australia's leading guitarist.

Joe bought his first guitar at the age of 18, when he could not read a note of music. At first he sought a teacher, but being unhappy with those available he decided to teach himself.

Within 18 months he had formed "The Blue Echoes", a band which is still alive today. He moved on to make a name for himself in the Australian Night Clubs.

His was a time of dancing girls, spotlights and smoke, 2am concerts and all Latin idioms. The clubs were raw and unlicensed, "In thos days, if you couldn't sing and play in four languages and master Spanish you would never be employed by the clubs. I learnt everything there is to know about Latin through years playing in those venues."

Joe has explored many idioms. He specialised in country for five years, appearing regularly on the Bill Earl Troubadour Show radio station 3XY.

So big did Joe become that for 35 years Australia's Night Clubs introduced him as "Australia's Leading Guitarist". In 1969 at the Crest Night Club he bought a brand new Valiant motor car worth $2,150 with one week's tips.

As with many entertainment greats Joe had a rival. Joe's rival on guitar was Ziggy Zappata. Joe and Ziggy cooperated to form a duo guitar act unrivalled in Australian history. Their live performances were sold out 18 months in advance. They made weekly television appearances. They played Khachaturian's Sabre Dance and Mozart's Rondo alla Turca in 4 part harmony with counter melody on two guitars.

Joe's illustrious career as a guitarist would have been enough for most mortals, but Joe is also a distinguished musical arranger, composer and orchestrator. He was personal arranger to Ricky May, Bev Harrel, Tony Pantano, John St Peeters, international stars Jack Carmelo from Spain, Joe Grech from Canada and others.

He was staff arranger with the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra (1976-78) and resident arranger (15 years) with Allen Eaton Sound Recording Studio, recording jingles and albums.

He played with all the greats of Australian music. His partners have included Johnny Hughes (Trumpet) and Vextry Roxas (Trumpet). His piano players have included Peter McCutcheon, Peter Jones, Peter Sullivan, John Gould and John Tucio.

Now retired from performance, Joe teaches music theory, orchestration and performance at the Melbourne Music Academy in Australia and over the Internet. In 1999 he played his own arrangement of the Aida triumphal march (on guitar) at the Palladium Room at Crown Cassino Melbourne. He is still able to bring the house down.


Music Theory


"Become an arranger first, then an orchestrator, and then a composer." - Joe Paparone

Joe Paparone is an Australian music arranger of the highest international calibre. Allow him to share 50 years of real world experiences with you.


Lessons Online

One of the great benefits to distance education is the extraordinary teachers you sometimes find.

Joe Paparone would be delighted to teach you. Lessons are personalised. You'll even get personal letters and personal attention straight from the maestro. If you'd like more detail you can contact Joe direct on jp @ musicarrangers.com Please subscribe to our online lessons by clicking the PayPal subscribe button. You don't have to be a PayPal member!

JP online