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John Trentacosta

A native New Yorker, drummer and founder of the jazz quintet Straight Up, John Trentacosta brought his collective big band and small group experience to New Mexico in 1992. After two decades as the rhythm force behind jazz notables Chuck Wayne, Jimmy Knepper, and the Al Porcino big band, John brought new energy to the New Mexico jazz scene. 

John received his formal music education at New York University, and was an Assistant Arts Director for The Staten Island Chamber Music Players, from 1978 – 1992.  In 1993, he formed the jazz group Straight Up, and has since became the energy behind the group’s busy concert schedule and the two CD releases “Live Jazz in The Desert” and “No Need For Words.” In 2003, John won a “MIC” award for best producer of the CD no need for Words. He has been part of the rhythm team for concerts with saxophone legend James Moody, vocalist Teri Thornton, tenor saxophonist Doug Lawrence and 1996 winner of the Thelonious Monk saxophone competition, Jon Gordon. He has performed with Eddie Daniels and The Santa Fe Symphony, Frank Morgan, Joshua Breakstone, Roger Kellaway, Nick Brignola, Lee Konitz, Bud Shank, Bobby Shew and Kenny Davern. In 2003, John began a long tenure as musical director of John Trentacosta and Friends, a trio plus special guests bi-monthly, which continued until June 2009 at Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill in Santa Fe. Past years have been filled with concerts and drum clinics in New Mexico and New York, while presenting jazz concerts in Santa Fe through his non-profit the “Santa Fe Music Collective.” John has been a jazz radio host at KSFR since 2006, co-hosting The Jazz Experience and The Bopera House with Arlen Asher from 2010-2020.