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I'm sorry to say that my former teacher, Sal Mosca dies last Saturday. I studied with Sal for over ten years. Here's more information for those of you who weren't fortunate to ever hear him.

Sal Mosca, jazz pianist, father, brother, teacher, and friend, passed away Saturday, July 28, 2007, in White Plains, New York. He was 80 years old.

Sal enjoyed a nearly seven decade career of improvisational jazz piano that touched the lives of many people. Perhaps more so than his music, Sal's values for living affected everyone who knew him. Those who knew Sal only from appreciation of his music surely were able to glean the depth of his commitment to purity and the integrity he brought to everything he produced.

Sal was, and will remain, a teacher in every sense of the word. The philosophy he articulated and lived was one of simple and complete dedication to the spirit of creation undiluted by external influence. Sal rejected commercialism, populism, consumerism, and the faddish. In their place, he maintained and nurtured the values of thrift, independence, freedom, self improvement and self exploration. Most of all, Sal believed in generosity. Sal gave everything away: his thoughts, his time, his values, his music.

While Sal may have been viewed by some as iconoclastic, in reality he was a rock of tradition that, by remaining true to quality, threatened the evolving status quo. By this, Sal demonstrated his courage in the face of enormous forces urging compromise and conformity.

Sal is survived by his three children and seven grandchildren. He is also survived by the thousands of souls whose lives he touched with his words and his music.

Gratefully, Sal was able to record a body of incredible music during his lifetime that will live on as ethereal vibrations that will inspire, soothe, and amaze us for the years and generations to come. Life is fragile; art perseveres.

"Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art."
Charlie Parker

"Your Requiem is finished. It has made me sad, for I sang it with all my heart."
Franz Schubert

Sal's Website

Salvatore Joseph Mosca died peacefully on July 28, 2007. A lifelong resident of Mount Vernon, Sal was born on April 27, 1927 in Mount Vernon to Fred and Catherine (Beningasa) Mosca. He served in the United States Army from 1945-1946. On June 25, 1950, Sal married Stella DiGregorio. Their marriage later ended in divorce. Sal was a musician who began studying piano at age 11 and later attended the New York College of Music. During a long career, Sal performed in many famous venues from jazz clubs to Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City. He also performed in several European countries including France, Belgium and the Netherlands, as recently as January, 2007. From 1949 to 2005, Sal appeared on over 23 record releases. Collaborations included performances with Miles Davis, Max Roach, Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn. While his performances are notable, his main focus was on teaching, a vocation he maintained from the age of 15 until the time of his death. Sal is survived by his three children; Michael, (MVPD Ret), of Eastchester, Stephen, of Jacksonville Fl, and Kathryn, of Scarsdale. He is also survived by seven grandchildren; Joseph, Lisa and Kathryn Mosca; Anna, Michael, Alex and Nicholas Kowalczuk. Sal was predeceased by a sister, Dolores Mosca in 1993. Family and friends may visit the funeral home on Wednesday, from 2-4 and 7-9pm. Mass of Christian burial Thursday, 10am at Sacred Heart Church in Mount Vernon. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Jazz Foundation of America, 322 W. 48th Street, NY 10036 would be appreciated. . More information about Sal’s life, career and music is available at

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Sal Mosca

The recordings done in 1949 with Marsh and Konitz ..........Fishin Around and Sound Lee are just amazing. Also same session Marshmallow.
Since then the guy did some amazing records .....
That whole Tristano of music has still not been heard properly . Why is that?
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