b. John Gregori, 12 October 1928, London, England. A band leader, arranger and composer, Gregory learnt to play the violin when he was seven, and studied under Albert Campoli. He made his first public appearance with the instrument when he was nine, and in his teens played a variety of instruments with his father, Frank Gregori And His Band, at London’s Normandy Hotel. During the 50s he worked as an arranger for Eddie Kassner’s Music Publishing Company, and in 1957 arranged and accompanied UK singer Russ Hamilton on his two-sided hit, ‘We Will Make Love’/‘Rainbow’, which made the UK and US Top 5. He also backed many other top artists, such as Matt Monro, Cleo Laine and Nana Mouskouri. In 1960 he launched a very successful series of more than 20 big band Latin-American style albums under the pseudonym of the Chaquito Orchestra. Two of these, This Chaquito and Thriller Themes entered the UK album charts. He has made many albums under his own name, including those with his Cascading Strings, which were especially popular in Japan. Gregory has also written for films and television, and continues to broadcast extensively, particularly with the BBC Radio Orchestra. His composition, ‘Introduction And Air To A Stained Glass Window’, won an Ivor Novello Award in 1976 for ‘The Best Instrumental Work’.
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