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    Iandiorio, Regis

    No doubt, hearing and seeing Jascha Heifetz perform live at Carnegie Hall when he was a teenager had a lasting impact on violinist Regis Iandiorio. 

     

    He went on to attend and graduate from Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, respectively. 

     

    His career has been a mixture of classical and pop, sometimes quite literally, as in his many recordings with The Hampton String Quartet (HSQ), which broke new ground by covering classic rock songs in a chamber music setting. 

     

    In 1977, he wisely availed himself of the burgeoning studio scene, recording Havana Candy with Patti Austin and Concrete Jungle with David Newman and appearing on Joe Farrell’s La Catedral Y El Toro.  Albums on which he performed in 1978 included Chaka Khan’s self-titled Chaka, Roland Kirk’s Boogie-Woogie String Along For Real, and the soundtrack of The Wiz.  In 1979, he sweetened the pot on the eponymously titled B. Baker Chocolate Co., went undercover with Carly Simon on Spy, and began recording H with Bob James. 

     

    Fame was just around the corner, in 1980.  In 1984, he got his jazz groove on with Wynton Marsalis on Standards & Ballads and recorded Deedles with Diane Schuur.  He reunited with Carly Simon on 1987’s Coming Around Again.  Joe Jackson’s Will Power was released the same year, with Regis in tow.  In 1988, he began to get heavily involved in movie work, performing on the soundtrack of School Daze, and the HSQ received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Concept Video for their rendition of “Get a Job”.  He followed this up by performing on the soundtracks of Do the Right Thing and When Harry Met Sally, featuring Harry Connick, Jr. 

     

    In 1990, he appeared on the soundtrack of Mo’ Better Blues, rejoined Patti Austin on Love is Gonna Getcha and Carly Simon on My Romance, teamed up with Philip Glass & Ravi Shankar on Passages, and the HSQ released What if Mozart Wrote “Born to Be Wild”.  He served as Concert Master and co-producer of Rosemary Clooney’s 1991 release, For the Duration.  Other albums on which he appeared in 1991 include The Wind Beneath My Wings with James Galway, the anthology Come Spirit, Come Charm, the soundtrack of Jungle Fever, and the original cast recording of The Will Rogers Follies.  He got down in 1992 with Chic on Chic-ism, and Expose and Nneena Freelon on their self-titled albums.  No less eclectic was 1993, with appearances on P.M. Dawn’s The Bliss Album…? and Gavin BryarsJesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet.  In 1995, he performed on D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar and Nancy LaMott’s Listen to My Heart, and the soundtrack of Philip Glass’s opera, La Belle et la Bete. 

     

    It was back to the movie studio in 1996 with the soundtracks of The Chamber and Everyone Says I Love You.  In 1997, he performed as a member of Heart Strings on their Soft Touch album and hooked up again with P.M. Dawn on Jesus Wept, and appeared on the original Broadway cast album of The Lion King and the original New York recording of The Boys from Syracuse.  He found himself in the studio with Elena Bennett and Fred Barton and His Orchestra recording A Wrinkle in Swingtime in 1998.  The same year saw the release of Gloria Estefan’s self-titled Gloria! and the anthology, Birth of the Cool Funk – Vintage Jams and Serious Grooves, both featuring Regis’s name in the credits.  He went back to Broadway in 1999 on Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida.  Other albums on which he performed in 1999 included Ricky Martin’s self-titled album and George Michael’s Songs from the Last Century. 

     

    The new century featured Regis in a performance with HSQ in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and more session work on Antastacia’s Not that Kind and Lenny Kravitz’s Greatest Hits.  On 10th December 2000, he began Concert Master duties on the Broadway musical version of Jane Eyre, which ran through 10th June 2001.  In 2001, Regis appeared on at least four albums:  Three Mo’ Tenors, featuring Victor Trent Cook, Roderick Dixon and Thomas Young; The Peggy Lee Songbook:  There’ll Be Another Spring; Britney Spears’ Oops!... I Did it Again; and, the soundtrack of Baby Boy.  More film work came his way in 2002, on the soundtracks of Changing Lanes and Naqoyqasti.  Released the same year was the anthology, The Flowering of Vocal Music in America:  1767-1823, with Regis in the string section. 

     

    He appeared on no less than eight albums in 2003:  Elvis Costello’s North, Kiroron 1 – Kiroro Melodies, Linda Eder’s Broadway My Way, Whitney Houston’s One Wish:  The Holiday Album, Yuki Kajira’s Fiction, Robert Koenig’s Chausson:  Concerto in D, Gerald Levert’s Stroke of Genius, and the cheekily titled Pachelbel’s Greatest Hit – The Ultimate Canon.  He did More with Tamia and performed on the soundtrack of The Aviator in 2004. 

     

    In 2005, he appeared on the HSQ’s Take No Prisoners and the anthologies, Our New Orleans 2005 and Ultimate Strings, Volume 1:  Alternative Styles.  He provided string support on Brian Stokes Mitchell’s self-titled album in 2006.  In 2007, he helped Andrea Burns apply A Deeper Shade of Red and tipped his cap to Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim on the anthology, A Place for Us – A Tribute to 50 Years of West Side Story.  It is probably no surprise that he made the cut on the 2008 Philip Glass menagerie, Glass Box:  A Nonesuch Retrospective. 

     

    Believe it or not, the recordings listed above are merely the tip of the iceberg for Regis:  He is reputed to have recorded over 2000 advertisements, 1000 albums, and 150 movie soundtracks.  One of his most “famous” jingles is for, of all things, Prego sauce, on which he performs the violin solo.  In addition, he has recently recorded music for the Nickelodeon cable channel, with fellow fiddler Natalie Kriegler. 

     

    In his copious free time, he teaches a new generation of string musicians, and has done so in venues such as Hofstra University, Hunter College, and the Manhattan School of Music. 

     

    Frank Sinatra recordings

    That's What God Looks Like To Me (Stan Irvin/Lan O'Kun)

    Reprise RPS 49233 (XNY2101S) (US 45)

     

    Theme from "New York, New York" (Fred Ebb/John Kander)

    Reprise RPS49233 (XNY 2103 S) (US 45)

     

    Sources:

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