Pour wine, dim the lights, relax, & take pleasure in how great songs can affect your feelings as Joey & Menza take you on a pensive journey. Enjoy!

About | Joey Giambra’s Legacy

Joey Giambra’s Legacy | Up Close and Personal features the gifted and multi-talented Joey Giambra and his lifelong friend and world-renowned jazz tenor saxophonist, Don Menza.

Joey is a Buffalo icon to many generations. He is a Buffalo history archivist, a wordsmith, and raconteur. Joey’s soul is woven into the fabric of his beloved hometown for which he wrote the song, “I Love You Buffalo” that appears on this CD.

Menza is a Buffalo native now living in California. He started playing tenor saxophone when he was 13 and has played with Stan Kenton and Buddy Rich’s 1968 big band.

In this Café Jazz masterpiece, Joey’s singing, Menza’s tenor, and Jimmy Calabrese’s stunning arrangements deliver the heart and soul of a man who has led a full life. We know you will love it!

Songs | Joey Giambra’s Legacy

You’ll have to buy the CD to hear the complete songs, but we thought you would enjoy a snippet and learning a bit about each song that appears.


This 1st hit by Cy Coleman was the last song Frank Sinatra recorded for Columbia Records in 1952. After Menza’s masterful tenor saxophone intro, Joey sings it as if in an abyss, to a lover who won’t answer.



First recorded in 1924, this classic was featured in several films, notably 1942s Casablanca. Joey and Menza give it new life in this pleading, pensive cry.



As an actor, Joey’s career began in New York City in 1961. As such, the city was the inspiration for this 1978 fictional love saga composed fully by him.



This Joey G composition from 1982 was incidental music in the 1988 Hollywood Actors Studio production of No One Is Us, a play written by Joey. This version features the wonderful Mary Ramsey on viola.



This standard introduced in 1931 by singer Ruth Etting, has become one of the most recorded songs in history. Joey gives it a unique, new treatment, while Menza delivers a virtuoso jazz solo.



Hoagy Carmichael’s music with Mitchell Parish’s lyrics became a hit in 1929 and was recorded over 1500 times. In 2004, the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry. Here, Joey and Menza make it their own.



This music and words came to Joey in 1978 while prepping food in his Hard Times Café in Buffalo. You’ll know the compassion upon hearing.



Sammy Fain’s and Irving Kahal’s 1938 composition became an emotional World War II theme. Bing Crosby made it a hit worldwide. Now Joey and Don Menza give it the same deep, emotional plea of those earlier years.



Joey weaves two classics to yield a warm, haunting tale. The former, once called “He” Was, etc. was intended for female vocalists in Rogers and Hart’s 1930s musical, Simple Simon. In 1971, Stephen Sondheim, composed the latter for Follies. Joey’s love for these stories makes for a poignant medley.



In 1980 Joey said, “the last day in October was the first day in my life,” and Halloween was written. Featuring Russ D’Alba on alto saxaphone.



In this timeless 1944 classic by Cole Porter, Joey’s unique rendition of two lovers separating, and Don Menza’s poignant tenor saxophone, bring new life to a great American standard.



Joey tells this plaintive story of winning everything he wanted – except the love of the woman he desires. With Vernon Duke’s music and Ira Gershwin’s lyrics, this 1936 classic transcends time.



As a lifelong romantic, poet, and wordsmith, the beauty Joey found in a 1960s stay in New Hampshire inspired this, still another of his beautiful love songs.



Composer and historian Tom Naples wrote this heartfelt song after seeing a photo of Joey’s young, beautiful immigrant mother while listening to Joey’s epic tone poem, Bread and Onions.



In 1978, Joey saw the spark of a Buffalo renaissance and composed “I Love You Buffalo” for singer Jackie Jocko. Now Joey gives this passionate piece his personal touch.


The Musicians | Joey Giambra’s Legacy

There are many talents that contributed to this CD. If you are from Buffalo, you probably have heard many of them. Many thanks to:

Don Menza – Tenor Sax
Russ D’Alba – Alto Sax
Joey Giambra – Trumpet
Jimmy Calabrese – Piano
Dan Hull – Drums
Louie Marino – Drums
Mark Harris – Bass
William Staebell – Bass
Mary Ramsey – Viola

Production | Joey Giambra’s Legacy

And for those who worked to put together this CD and make the talented musicians sound their best, many thanks to those behind the scenes:

Producer – Genie Productions
Executive Producer – Jean Rogers-Downes
Production Coordinator – Jimmy Calabrese
Masterful Arrangements by Jimmy Calabrese, together with LA Scoring Strings
Associate Producer – Tom Naples
Recorded at Soundscape, Buffalo, New York
Tracking Engineer – Joe Mecozzi
Mixing Engineer – John Caruso
Mastered by Joao at Joao Carvalho Mastering, Toronto
Photography by Mark Dellas (including photos used on this website) – Traffic East Publications
CD Design by Little Box Creative, Orchard Park, New York (including designs used on this website)

Buy | Joey Giambra’s Legacy

International customers and those wanting to download Joey Giambra’s Legacy CD or individual songs, please go to:

Accolades | Joey Giambra’s Legacy

“Master entertainer, Joey Giambra’s latest recording, Up Close and Personal, does nothing less than superbly punctuate his Legacy.  This multi-instrumentalist and vocalist has always associated himself with a brilliant assortment of musicians.  The renowned Don Menza, his childhood friend, leads this group with his lush tenor tones. The depth of musicality is grand.  There is an array of classic songs that are delivered like never before.  As a chef, Joey ladles his own special sauce over them.  His original pieces are treated with such sensuous reflection that I’m often reminded of the melodious voice of Bobby Short and Billie Holiday, with her haunting refrains.  His pen bleeds of sentimentality to his beloved Buffalo. His broad historical perspective which permeates the four corners of his community is evident in every song and conversation.  In homage to his hometown, this disc princely defines this Renaissance man.”

                                                      ~ Ernest Griffin, Writer/Jazz Vocalist

“Joey Giambra’s songs, plus his sweet, dreamy vocalization of the standards delivered as only a musician can, brought tears to my eyes seemingly for no reason.  Looking back, I know they flowed from the beautiful and warm memories of times gone by and love that has come and gone.  His story-telling in song and beautiful musical changes envelop you like a warm embrace.  This is a magnificent offering by Joey.”

                                                              ~  Carolyn Ferrini, Jazz Vocalist

“Divine, enchanting.   it was great all the way around. And I will admit I shed a tear or two. Just outstanding. What a great collaboration.”

                                                                                 ~ Larry Sack, Florida

“Your Legacy CD, I really like it, but the cover photo got me.  You should have been a full-time actor —great pose!”

                                                                                ~  Jerry Fusani, Florida

“I love this record. Joey’s own songs and his interpretations of the Great American Songbook are rich and, without an ounce of sentimentality, nostalgic. Joe’s rich baritone is filled with a powerful sense of memory and of loss which makes for a haunting musical experience. He is joined on this record by some fantastic musicians: Mary Ramsey, Jim Calabrese, Danny Hull and particularly the great jazz tenor saxophonist Don Menza, whose interpretative solos will knock you out.  This is a wonderful recording!”

                                                               ~ Mark Goldman, Entrepreneur

“Every song on the CD is fantastic…especially the originals!!”

                                                                                 ~ John Patti, Actor

“The CD is a work of “art and time” that greatly affected me.  I am so impressed with your efforts in producing this CD. It is filled with emotion and reality…a great tribute to Joey and to Jazz itself…It’s a project to be proud of.”

                                             ~ David Lucas, Composer/Music Producer

“FABULOUS CD!!  Enjoyed every single song, very powerful.  Thank you for enriching us all!”

                                                                       ~  Maria LoTempio Dines

“Joe, still grooving on your CD. Such great work!”

~ Phil Knoerzer, Musician/Actor

“How wonderfully expressive your voice is.  You convey the words and meanings beautifully!  Thank you!”

                                                                        ~ Lisa Clough, Musician

“Up Close and Personal is what your music is, Joey, like you’re telling a friend the story of your life — it’s you and real and authentic.  Name me a musician who performs like this?  Maybe Miles.”

                                                              ~ Robert Viharo, Actor/Director

“I am in awe and overwhelmed by this CD. I wanted you to record All of Me because of your great and joyful vocal, but Menza’s opening and then break are lethal!  Don does an amazing job.  I can feel the love he has for you through every note he plays.  Such a display.  I’m lucky to be able to see it and hear it before my days are done.  Jean Rogers-Downes has produced a true work of art and that’s as good as it gets.  Thank you, Joe, for the ride.”

~ Tom Naples, Guitarist/Composer

“We all knew you were a playwright, hard-boiled detective, romantic instrumentalist, and author. But crooner? Not until now. You distill a lifetime of living and learning into your soulful interpretation of all these standards plus your own originals (composer!) From Menza’s dramatic opening statement to Mary Ramsey’s passionate viola solos to your last well-crafted phrase, this recording is truly your gift to Buffalo and the world. Molte grazie, Joey”

                                                                        ~ Phil Nyhuis, Jazz Musician

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you. You can reach us at contact@joegiambra.com.

If you’re interested in Joey’s CD, Bread and Onions, please email Joey.

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