A native New Yorker, drummer and Straight Up leader 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.
He 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 become 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 sax sensation Doug Lawrence and 1996 Thelonious Monk saxophone competition Jon Gordon. Most recently 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. The Past Two years have been filled with concerts in New Mexico and New York, and Drum Clinics for Magnarella’s Drum Shop and Grandma’s Music in Albuquerque, NM. In 2010 John played for a Broadway Review staring Kaye Ballard, with Liliane Montevecchi, and Donna Mckechnie.
Since the beginning of March 2012, the KSFR “Music Café Series” has been the main focus of attention, presenting various artist in a jazz concert setting as a benefit to the Santa Fe public radio station.
John has been a jazz radio host at KSFR since 2006, originally hosting his own show “The Bopera House”, and currently co- hosting “The Jazz Experience & The Bopera House” with Arlen Asher on monday mornings.