John Leone, 90, of East Hampton, N.Y., died Sunday, May 12, 2012, after a short illness. Born in Westfield, N.Y., on Oct. 20, 1921, John was the son of the late John and Cecilia (Loiacano) Leone.
John was a professional jazz musician for over 60 years and was a long-time member of Local 802 American Federation of Musicians of Greater New York until his retirement in 1996.
As a young musician, John studied at the prestigious Peabody Institute of Music in Baltimore. A gifted jazz trumpeter, singer and entertainer, he played with various big bands throughout New York City and the Hamptons. A World War II Coast Guard veteran, John served his country in the Coast Guard Band from 1942 until 1945. Early in his career, he performed at the Peanut Cafe in Dunkirk, N.Y., and with the New England based Roly Rogers Orchestra, and later at the Elbow Beach Surf Club in Bermuda and with the Bob Alexander Band and Eimer's Band in the Hamptons.
John was loved and admired by family and friends especially for his warmth and charm, his animated joke telling, his beautiful and resonant voice and his love of family.
Survivors include his wife Pearl (Gauriloff) Leone of East Hampton, sister-in-law Anne Leone of Dallas, Texas, nephew Jon Gary Leone of Niagara Falls, N.Y., and nieces JoAnne Leone of Blairsville, Ga., and Carol Leone Smith of Dallas, Texas. Surviving grandnieces and grandnephews are Heather, Charles, and Joseph Bivona and Ryan and Olivia Smith. Surviving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of John's wife Pearl comprise the step-family that was also dear to him.
John's brothers Joseph Leone and Salvatore "Si" Leone and sister Connie Bivona predecease him.
The family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to the Jazz Foundation of America at www.jazzfoundation.org/memory_honor.