Pete Jolly

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Pete Jolly (born Peter Ceragioli Jr., June 5, 1932, New Haven, Connecticut, died November 6, 2004, Pasadena, California) was an American West Coast jazz pianist and accordionist.

He was well-known for his performance of television themes and various movie soundtracks. He began playing the accordion at age three, and appeared on the radio program Hobby Lobby at the age of seven.

His composition "Little Bird" (a minor hit on Fred Astaire's Ava label) was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1963, and he formed the Pete Jolly Trio in 1964. With the Trio and as a solo artist, he recorded several albums, the last of which was a 2000 collaboration with Jan Lundgren. He also worked with other notable jazz artists, including Buddy DeFranco, Art Pepper and Red Norvo, and for many years with EZ music arranger and director Ray Conniff.

Jolly's music can be heard on television programs such as Get Smart, The Love Boat, I Spy, Mannix, M*A*S*H and Dallas, as well as hundreds of movie soundtracks.

Jolly continued to perform with his trio in Los Angeles jazz clubs until shortly before being hopitalized in August 2004. He died in Pasadena, California from complications of bone marrow cancer in 2004, aged 72.


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