15 November 1916
Oakland, Alameda County, California, United States
27 April 2019 (aged 102)
Jack de Mello (15 November 1916 – 27 April 2019) was an American composer, arranger, keyboardist, conductor, producer, entrepreneur and founder of Music Of Polynesia Inc..
Jack de Mello recorded close to 160 albums of all types of music, including almost 500 Hawaiian songs. These songs recorded in the biggest and best studios around the world gave Hawaiian music a new identity. Decca Studios in London, Barclay Studios in Paris, RCA in Rome, major studios in Hollywood, New York, Chicago all became Jack's playground and introduced the world's music business to a category of music that they only heard in scratchy radio broadcasts from Waikiki Beach on Saturday mornings. He made Hawaiian music viable to a musical world who felt it primitive at best. The London Philharmonic, the Tokyo Symphony, the Victor Concert Orchestra and the NHK Orchestra were among those who marveled at what was traditional Hawaiian music arranged by what was quickly becoming one of the masters of Hawaiian music. Victor Records of Japan recognized Jack's talent and recruited him to produce 21 albums featuring the Victor Pops Orchestra over an eleven-year partnership.
Jack's talents went beyond his love for Hawaiian music. Hanna Barbera contracted Jack to compose and orchestrate music for the Flintstones, the Jetsons, Magilla Gorilla, Top Kat and Ricochet Rabbit. Jack was recording all of this while developing the talents of Emma Veary, Nina Keali'iwahamana, Marlene Sai —- most of Hawai'i's recognized talents in the 50's and 60's. As the Hawaiian cultural renaissance was born in the late 60's, early 70's, Jack was discovering a new generation of musical talents; The Beamers, The Brothers Cazimero, Jon & Randy, Booga Booga. Every one of Jack's discoveries was to shape Hawaiian music in their own way. Jack demanded that his proteges be musically educated and that included his son, Jon, and he always demanded that they be passionate about what they were doing, whether it was composing, arranging, playing or singing. A great tribute to Jack is that all of his artists continue to work in the field of music and credit Jack and the habits he instilled in them with their decades-long success story.
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