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Willy Dalton

Willy Dalton has been a working professional guitarist since 1970. Born in Manhattan, he began performing professionally in San Francisco, moved to Southern Florida in 1974, and settled in the NY Metropolitan Area in 1977. Well known artists he has performed or recorded with include Bo Diddley, Cissy Houston, Ben E. King, The Shirelles, Pam Tate, Mary Wells, Eddie Monteiro, Joe Cocuzzo, Daniel Ponce, Guillerme Franco, Eliot Zigmund, Neddy Smith and many others. He has also arranged, produced, and supervised the manufacture of over 30,000 compact discs for various artists. He formed his own record label and released 4 CDs by The Dalton Gang--a 10 piece band he has led as guitarist/composer/arranger since 1979. The most recent Dalton Gang cd, “Last Year’s Waltz” was released in the summer of 2006. In addition to live performances with the Dalton Gang and others, he has arranged and composed music in many formats for ensembles ranging from small jazz groups to big bands to symphony orchestras. In 1997 he received a grant from the Urban History Initiative to compose a work for string quartet and guitar. The composition, “Riverwalk”, premiered in January 1998. Besides his interest in jazz and pop guitar styles he has also studied classical and flamenco guitar. His flamenco inspired piece, WTC911, was one of the 19 original compositions included in the September Rising CD tribute to the victims of 9/11. From 2003-2006 he was the bandleader and arranger of the 18 piece house band at Richie Cecere’s Restaurant in Montclair, NJ. He wrote over 100 original arrangements for that band. In June 2006 he formed the 18 piece Real Deal Big Band and continues to perform with and write music for that ensemble. He has private guitar students and is an adjunct guitar instructor at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, where he lives.