Rocky Giglio, “Band City’s Music Man”, has Died

Rocky Giglio, who died on February 8th at 86, began playing in his hometown, Utica, New York, in the Thomas Proctor High School band and orchestra as well as two community bands. He attended Ithaca School of Music from 1955 through 1959 where he majored in clarinet. Soon after his split career between playing music and working for instrument manufacturers and distributors began when he became employed by the C. G. Conn Company in nearby New Berlin, New York, and after a year and a half there, he accepted the invitation to join the company in Elkhart, Indiana. He moved there in 1961.

Red Wood Coast

He left C.G. Conn for a period to start his own business, and during that time worked for Selmer and then W. T. Armstrong Company where he became Vice President of Research and Development. After a decade of acquisitions and promotions, he was eventually Executive Vice President and then Vice Chairman of UMI (United Music Instruments). In 1995 he “retired” to become plant manager of the Vincent Bach Company in Elkhart, which freed up time to play more music locally. Three years later he hoped to the Woodwind and Brasswind company to set up repair departments in South Bend, Indiana. In 1999 he became Vice President of Operations at jj Babbitt Company, Inc. He helped design several new mouthpieces and to acquire prestigious lines from other manufacturers. He was still with Babbitt, serving as President, at the time of a 2017 profile in The Syncopated Times.

He never stopped playing jazz throughout his career. He was a supporter and participant in the Elkhart Jazz Festival from its inception. His primary band association was the Jazz Assemblage, which could be heard at many events at the University of Notre Dame throughout the year. He was a supporter and interviewee of the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Project.

Jazz Festival from its inception. His primary band association was the Jazz Assemblage, which could be heard at many events at the University of Notre Dame throughout the year. He was a supporter and interviewee of the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Project.

Hot Jazz Jubile

Van Young has helped keep the Elkhart Jazz Festival a swinging proposition for the past three decades. He also hosts Patterns in Jazz, Sundays at noon (Central) at WGCS-FM 91.1, Goshen, IN. Listen online at www.globeradio.org.

He is currently writing a series of short memories from his interactions with jazz folk over the years. These don't count against your monthly article limit.

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