Joe Riposo, an instructor of music in the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, was honored by New York State Sen. John A. DeFrancisco with a New York Senate Resolution on May 23 at Liverpool High School. The resolution recognizes Riposo for being “an effective leader and teacher in the field of music” and having “a significant impact on the arts and culture of our communities, by providing the public with brilliant entertainment and students.”
Riposo, who is also the director of jazz studies at the Setnor School, served as director of music education for the Liverpool Central School District for 31 years until his retirement in 1991. He also served as jazz coordinator and clinician for the New York State School Music Association and is the recipient of its presidential medallion for his leadership and contributions to the association.
Active as a saxophonist, Riposo has worked in house bands for such nationally known artists as Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and the McGuire Sisters. He appears frequently as clinician, adjudicator, guest conductor and soloist in many jazz festivals throughout the U.S. He is a composer of several published compositions and is the author of the book “Jazz Improvisation: A Whole-Brain Approach” (Jr Pub, 1989), among others.
Riposo received the 2008 Jazz Educator of the Year award presented by the Central New York Jazz Arts Foundation and in 2009 was selected as “Jazz Legend of Upstate New York.” He also received the Outstanding Jazz Educator Award from the National Band Association and is the recipient of numerous American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Awards. In 1997 he was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS) Hall of Fame as a performer and composer; in 2011 he was inducted as a music educator.