Costa, Johnny

views updated

Costa, Johnny

Costa, Johnny , jazz pianist; b. Arnold, Pa., Jan. 18, 1922; d. Pittsburgh, Pa., Oct. 11, 1996. Studied piano at Carnegie Tech (B.A., comp., 1951). He was an active freelancer in the Pittsburgh area, where he did club and radio and TV work. From the early 1970s until his death, Costa was the pianist, mostly behind the scenes, for the public television children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. He added a touch of Art Tatum to the musical interludes that accompanied the sunny children’s personality.


Neighborhood (1955); Amazing J. Costa and This Trio (1955); In My Own Quiet Way (1959); Classic Costa (1990); Flying Fingers (1991).

—Lewis Porter