Rocco Ferrante AKA Rock Ferrante Jr.
(Born May 10,1956-died November 8, 2023
Rock Ferrante Jr. – World-class Hammond B3 organist
He may not be the most well known Hammond B3 player of all time but he was one of the greatest masters of the instrument to ever play it. Rock was a young American musician and child prodigy with amazing virtuosityon keyboards, which included piano, synthesizers and especially the Hammond B3 organ. He was also a magnificent trumpeter. He began his professional music career with a union card at the age of 12 years old. In the 1970’s, he was building an exceptional international reputation as the best new up and coming young star on the Hammond B3 organ. In 1972, he was the youngest person to ever win in the Pro-Division International Grand Prix Concour (Nemo-no-Sato, Japan) international organ competition. He was just 16 years old. Rock Ferrante was acknowledged as the youngest and best pop-jazz organist on the international music scene at that time and was judged by artists such as the Hammond B3 King himself, Jimmy Smith, as well as Sarah Vaughan, John Green, David Clayton Thomas, and Claire Fisher.He was also highly respected and recognized by the Hammond Organ Company during that period of time for his amazing technique on the B3 organ and was subsequently signed as an Artist by Hammond.
In 1979, Rock Ferrante, Jr. delivered a scorcher of a B3 organ release entitled, “Rock Ferrante – The First Time”. After 44 years since its release, you can still purchase this recording at discogs.com. Throughout the 1970’s, Rock continued his music career by performing internationally on the Hammond B3 organ in nightclubs, concerts and music clinics and with gospel artists such as Jessy Dixon and the Chicago Community Choir. He continued performing with many other great artists like Captain and Tennille National TV Show along with Steve Allen’s National TV events. He made appearance on the Mike Douglas show. Rock was even invited to perform for President Gerald Ford at the 1976 Bi-Centennial Ball in Washington, D.C.
As time went on, Rock continued performing and eventually went into a conventional business career where he was offered exceptional business opportunities in the corporate world in the music industry. He eventually retired from the corporate life and started working on personal music products, but his real love was spending time with his family and grandson.
Sadly, on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 9AM he passed through heavens gates at Morristown Hospital after a short and courageous battle with liver cancer.
Rock Ferrante was a kind and a gentle soul, a wonderful son, husband, father, grandfather and friend. The Hammond Organ Company had one of the youngest and most talented Hammond B3 artists of the 70’s – and that was Rock Ferrante, Jr.