Saturday, April 7, 2012


John Kane is widely known as one of Central New York's all-time greatest musicians. This Syracuse Music Hall of Famer is a 1960 Cortland High School graduate who played saxophone in Cortland's High's Dance Band, Senior Band and School Orchestra between 1957-60. Note- John was Cortland High's Senior Ball King crowned by Class President Ronnie James Dio himself.

John's first band was a dixieland dance band and then  for a short time he joined  Ronnie James Dio band the Vegas Kings where Elvis Presley songs (Jailhouse Rock) were featured during most of  1958. He then shifted style and appeared with an early version of Donnie (Don Barber) and the Dukes (1960-61) another one of CNY's musical greats. 

John's major influences at this time were rhythm and blues players as Dave "Fat Head" Newman a sax player with Ray Charles and the Texas R&B style of Stanley Turrentine.

Then it was on to Syracuse to join with The Dynamics (late 1961) who had just changed their name from Jeff & The Notes. The Dynamics included Jeff Chappelle (guitar), Nick Russo (drums), Ray Smith (bassist), Brian Sanders (guitar) and John Kane on sax (who replaced Doug Mancabelli) who left for military service).

The Dynamics played such hot spots as- Sorrentos, Albee Hotel, Masonic Temple, Parquet Lounge and the Pavillion in Auburn.. They also played the famed Three River Inn Nightclub appearing with such nationals acts as Paul Anka, Freddie Cannon Johnny Cash, Bobby Darin, Bobby Rydell, Chiffon's and The Marvelettes. Before their breakup in 1963, the Dynamics were featured on Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars Tour that played the Syracuse War Memorial. They also sang  the popular radio commercial "City Opticians Have It For The Eyes" that aired in this market about 20 years.

Bobby Comstock in need of a  horn section while on a national tour asked John Kane (sax) and  David "Rock" Feinstein (trumpet) to join him on the road to play at Geauga Lake Park near Cleveland on August 4, 1965 to back up such stars as Sonny & Cher ("I Got You Babe"), Bobby Vee, Johnny Tillotson & Barbara Lewis also playing that evening was Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Following Vegas Kings,  Donnie & The Dukes and The Dynamics, John Kane also performed in the following groups- Soul Brothers, Music Incorporated with Art "Legs "Robins, Spiegle Wilcox Band, Jazz Minds (Mark & Bobby Doyle), Danny D'Imperio, Sox Tiffault, Slow Burn (1977), Toots Revue, Dave Hanlon's Funky Jazz Band (1976- Eric Miller. Joe Jewell, Jack Holton, Dave Hanlon and John Kane), Charlie Bertini's Applejazz Band (included Dave Hanlon, Larry Arlotta, Dick Chave, Dave Gannett and guest Joe Whiting), Skip Murphy's Out of the Blue and Dave Hanlon's Cookbook (Mark Copani, Eric Miller, Emededin Rivera, Rafael Oritz Jr, Dave Hanlon & John Kane). The latest version of Cookbook included Ava Andrews, Edgar Pagan, Lee  Tiffault, Bill Dicosimo, Dave Hanlon and John Kane)

John has also appeared on the recording of many of the area's top talent  such as Out of the Blue Cd (1997), Jimmy Cavallo, Kim Lembo (Mama Lion), Todd Hobin (Keepin the Dream Alive), The Kingsnakes (19 Lucky Strikes), The Mind's Eye, Joe Whiting (Strong Love),  Billy Piranha & The Enemies, Billy Stephens (San Remo),  Tom Townsley (Blue Roller), Mark Tiffault (Zinc's Palace), Dave Hanlon's Cookbook (Live from the Dinosaur Bar B Que) and Charlie Bertini and the AppleJazz Band (Apple Sass) to name a few. I'm sure I forgot a few.....

John Kane also appeared and played at a private party fund raiser for Hillary Clinton at the home of Duke Kinne in Syracuse. President Clinton and Hillary came on stage with John and the Todd Hobin Band the president declined  John's offer of a tenor sax (borrowed from Joe Whiting) so the president could sit in. That's a Hall of Fame career topper for this superstars musical career.. PS- And a great guy to boot.....

1 comment:

  1. John,
    It's been a lot of years since you and I played together in "The Dynamics". At that time I was the bassman (Ray Smith).
    It's surprising that after all these years, I'm finally able to contact you as well we're both still alive.
    I know you're living in Florida. I'm now in Apache Junction, Az. Been here for the last 9 years.
    Believe it or not, I'm now (at age 81) performing as a solo act known as "Pops" And The Invisible Band. I create my own backing tracks (80%) and sometimes use karaoke tracks.
    I have my own website:

    I guess I've blabbed too much.
    It's great to have found you again.