A turning point in my career came one night at a rehearsal. Subbing on the piano was a very spry elderly gentleman with a white beard playing up a storm. At the end of the evening he walked over to me and asked “would you mind if I wrote an arrangement for you?” I was ecstatic. That gentleman turned out to be the renown Broadway Music Director and Arranger, John Lesko, who had recently retired. I will never forget my excitement at out next meeting when John waltzed in with not one, but three big band arrangements. He continued to write arrangements for me and often told me that I was the reason he had returned to arranging and conducting. Within a short time our relationship melded into a partnership with the creation of the John Lesko Orchestra. We performed at many different venues which ranged from “A Big Band Christmas” at The Emelin Theatre to parties and weddings at the Westchester Country Club and in between, concerts at Liberty State Park and the Westchester County Convention Center, to name a few. We had good times at rehearsal where John would often relate amusing stories about some of the famous artists he worked with. Nearest and dearest to his heart was his family, followed by his long association with Mary Martin as her Music Director on Broadway, Television and in the recording studio.
On August 30, 2007, John Lesko passed away. It was completely unexpected. Just a few weeks earlier, the John Lesko Orchestra played a concert at the Kasschau Memorial Shell in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Our memories of John’s exuberance, his endearing stories and his god-given musical gift, which he shared with those he loved, will be with us, always. We thank you, Mr. John Lesko.
"A Loving Heart Is The Truest Wisdom"