Life Member. Flute
11/30/1941 – 4/15/2021
by Carl Rigoli
I met Pat Rizzo at JHS 141 Astoria, Queens, NYC in the 7th grade and he formed his first band which included Pat on tenor sax, Andre Simone on guitar and myself, Carl Rigoli, on drums. We were all 12 years old and rehearsed at Andre’s house. I remember playing our first performance for our school’s student and faculty assembly. We played “Blue Suede Shoes” and everyone loved it. Pat was our leader and he started booking gigs for local functions such as the Moose Lodge, weddings, etc. We all attended Bryant High School and added another sax and trumpet, plus a bass player named Wally Capone Puschmann to our rhythm section. He named the band the Cavilers and we performed for all the school dances, proms and many local gigs. We played rock, standards, and jazz.
Andy Fraga joined us on piano and we played on our first TV show, the Herb Sheldon “Studio Party” teen bandstand in NYC, playing “Tequila,” representing our high school when we were 14 years old, which was very successful. His uncle, John Grande, played clarinet with the Metropolitan Opera. His uncle, Joe, was a well-known sax player in New York City. Pat played with all the greats in NYC, L.A. and Palm Springs, plus with Frank Sinatra, etc. He played with War, Sly and the Family Stone, Tito Puente and many more of the great jazz musicians.
I will miss him and never forget our longtime friendship and his exceptional talent.