Joe Bonamassa mourns passing of guitar mentor Carmen Caramanica

“A brilliant teacher, jazz musician and person.”

Joe Bonamassa

Image: C Brandon / Getty Images

Blues virtuoso Joe Bonamassa has taken to the Internet to mourn the passing of his guitar mentor Carmen Caramanica.

Caramanica, who passed away at the age of 77 on Monday (16 January), was a well-known local music instructor and a jazz musician himself.

In a statement shared via his Twitter account, Bonamassa paid tribute to his mentor, writing: “Everyone has a musical host and someone they learned from. For me it was my Dad and this man.”

“I am sad to learn of the passing of Carmen Caramanica today. A brilliant teacher, jazz musician and person. This is big [sic] loss for the Central New York music community. Rest in peace.”

A self-taught musician, Caramanica graduated from Utica College before going on to teach music at several schools and universities. He is part of The Carmen Caramanica Jazz Trio and has performed with the likes of Lou Rawls, Tony Orlando and Raquel Welch over the years. Caramanica has also made multiple appearances on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” as a guitarist/ conductor.

The guitarist recently published a book chronicling his experiences, titled “It Started with a Guitar: Six Strings and a Dream”. In the book, Caramanica wrote about his life story, including how he was hospitalised at a young age with a hip injury, which resulted in him picking up the guitar.

Check out some of Caramanica’s performances below.


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