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Piano Man plays Sound Bites Grill

Phil Centracchio (Rossi) performs each Thursday from 6-9 p.m. at Sound Bites Grill, located at the Hyatt Shops in uptown Sedona. (Courtesy photo)

Phil Centracchio (Rossi) performs each Thursday from 6-9 p.m. at Sound Bites Grill, located at the Hyatt Shops in uptown Sedona. (Courtesy photo)

Originally Published: January 30, 2017 3:27 p.m.

A brilliant piano player, Phil Centracchio (Rossi) has quite a story.

Music was his first love, but it didn’t pay the bills. So he ventured out in search of a real career.

After attending law school and realizing it was not for him, Rossi went to work for the Chicago police department. He decided being a lawyer just was not for him.

Rossi worked for the police for many years. He was a detective by day – and a piano player by night. Being on the security detail at the International Amphitheater in Chicago, Rossi quickly let people know he was a piano player. He eventually was asked to be a warm-up player.

One of Rossi’s most life changing moments was meeting Frank Sinatra in the late 1960s. Sinatra gave him the nick name The Keeper of the Keys. Matter of fact, he changed his last name to Rossi when Sinatra who could not pronounce, said, “You need to shorten that name kid, I can’t pronounce it.”

Rossi and Sinatra connected on a level that spanned decades until Sinatra’s death in 1988.

Rossi is a versatile piano player whose mother Lillian was a musician and taught him the basics of the piano when he was 8 years old.

From that point, he progressed by practicing until he was 16 years old at which point he formed a trio with two neighborhood friends a drummer and bass player and began his career by playing church socials, school sock hops, etc.

In the 1960s Phil put together a rock group and performed all over the U.S. well into the late 1970s, at which point he returned to doing a single and playing songs from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and to the present.

He has lived in Chicago most of his life, and now resides in beautiful Sedona with his Diane. Diane, also a performer, was often seen performing with Phil in a musical comedy duo. Among other places, they performed at the Chicago Playboy Club.

He had been fortunate during his musical career to have worked with The Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra Sr. and also with his son Frank Jr. and drummer Buddy Rich, to name a few.

His music will take you back in time (from Cole Porter, the Gershwin’s, up to Billy Joel) creating memories of long ago.

Phil frequents the entertainment venue Sound Bites Grill and over time talked the owners into acquiring a baby grand so he could perform. He currently is performing every Thursday evening from 6-9 p.m. Sound Bites Grill is located at the Hyatt Shops in uptown Sedona. They have live music 5-6 nights a week and are open for lunch and dinner.

Other events this week start with Eric Miller (Latin Jazz Guitarist) Wednesday, Feb. 1 from 6-9 p.m. Friday Night, Feb. 3, Anthony Mazzella returns with his Legends of Guitar Tribute Show. Saturday Night, Feb. 4, they feature a dance band from 7-10 p.m. and Sunday, Feb 5, a football party starting at 3 p.m.

For full calendar of Events, tickets or reservations visit SoundBitesGrill.com.

For more info call 928-282-2713.