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Jazz Pianist and Teacher Sal Mosca Dies at 80

Sal Mosca, 80, a pianist whose credits include work with Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and others, died July 28 in White Plains, NY. The cause of death was emphysema.

Mosca began learning piano at age 12 and, influenced by Fats Waller, Art Tatum and others, steered toward jazz. His greatest influence, however, was Lennie Tristano, with whom Mosca studied in the late ’40s to mid-’50s. Mosca also worked with Lee Konitz, Wayne Marsh and others, in addition to recording as a leader.

By the early 1980s, Mosca had ceased recording and performing live, preferring instead to concentrate on teaching. Late in his life he returned to limited performances.

Originally Published