Biography

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Bob grew up in Cicero Illinois. As a kid in fourth grade, inspired by old Marx Brothers movies on TV, he wanted to play the harp but settled on his second choice, the violin, because the lessons and the instrument were more accessible at that time. In the eighth grade, he got his first piano and a unique blend of man and instrument was born.

In high school, Solone was an art major and violinist in the orchestra. He studied classical piano with Lydia Smutny Sterba, and had a brief adventure sitting in with the rock band, "Ides of March". While at Morton College, he began his night club performance career.

Bob in Acapulco [Click To View Full Size]
Bob in Acapulco
The MGM Grand [Click To View Full Size]
The MGM Grand

In the 1970's, Bob began performing at some of the best clubs in Chicago and internationally, in Europe and Mexico, with extended winter engagements in the Canary Islands, Acapulco, Cuernavaca, and Puerto Vallarta.

In 1975, he played at the MGM Grand Hotel and Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Bob with Jean-Paul Vignon and Friends [Click To View Full Size]
Bob with Jean-Paul Vignon
and friends

Returning to Chicago, he did a series of solo piano concerts at Rosary College in River Forest, IL. In 1977-1978 Bob was the musical director for French singer Jean-Paul Vignon.

In 1979, Bob moved to New York City and began performing at clubs including River Café, Ted Hook's Backstage, Grand Hyatt-Trumpet's, Gaslight Club, St. Regis Hotel (where Salvador Dali was living), Chelsea Place, Green Street Café, and culminating in 1983 with a performance of his own composition with string orchestra at Carnegie Recital Hall.

During his four years in New York City, Solone, on a lark, grew his hair long and unintentionally, and to everyone's surprise, became a look-alike for popular magician, Doug Henning. While Doug was starring in the Broadway musical "Merlin", Solone was holding forth two blocks away at the popular Ted Hook's Backstage Piano Bar. The resemblance soon became confusing to the public, so Solone cut his hair and ended that adventure.

Bob Solone, NOT Doug Henning [Click To View Full Size] "Pianist Bob Solone at Backstage looks so much like Doug Henning, the customers expect him to saw a piano in half."
Earl Wilson, New York Post
Bob Solone, Not
Doug Henning

Bob with Tony Zito [Click To View Full Size]
Bob with Tony Zito
Bob and Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeanie) [Click To View Full Size]
Bob and Barbara Eden
(I Dream of Jeanie)
Bob and Cristina Seaborn [Click To View Full Size]
Bob and Cristina Seaborn

Bob then returned to Chicago where he teamed up with pianist/singer Tony Zito to form a two-piano team that enjoyed a decade long engagement at the popular French bistro, Yvette on State Street.

Bob and Gwen Pippin [Click To View Full Size]
Bob and Gwen Pippin

The 1990's brought performances in Italy and recordings with Ester Hana, Joel Barry and Gwen Pippin.

 

With a reputation as a fine accompanist, Solone has played for a long list of singers, including Barbara Eden, Debbie Reynolds, Dorothy McGuire, Sandler & Young, Larry Riley, and Victor Lanza.

He studied composition under William Ferris, Bernard Brindel, Leo Edwards and R.J. Dvorak. He studied jazz piano under Alan Swain. Also an accomplished vocalist, Bob studied voice under Carlos Faria in New York and Phil Ford in Las Vegas.

With Carmen Cavallaro [Click To View Full Size] With Bob Hope [Click To View Full Size] With Liberace [Click To View Full Size]
With Carmen Cavallaro With Bob Hope With Liberace

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional musicians are among Solone's biggest fans. One night at his Caesar's Palace engagement he was playing a medley of soft, late-night style popular songs of the Larry Hart - Kurt Weill variety…when a short, tanned man in a tuxedo drifted away from his noisy companions and walked over to the piano. He listened with his head down, absently dragging on a cigarette until Solone finished.

"That was good." said Sinatra. "That was very good."


 
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