Niagara Gazette — It’s clearly in the genes.
Chris Tedesco, cousin of acclaimed Niagara Falls musician Tommy Tedesco — a local legend who made a name for himself in the sound studios of Los Angeles in the 70s and 80s — has walked a similar musical path.
Chris, inspired by Tommy, also ended up in Los Angeles and found his own success in the music industry as a freelance music contractor. His latest project was assembling the orchestra to record the score for the new Dreamworks movie “Need for Speed.”
The Town of Niagara native spoke to Night and Day recently from his current home in Los Angeles.
QUESTION: When did you get interested in music?
ANSWER: I was nine or 10, my neighbor next door was starting trumpet and he asked if I wanted to play too. That’s how I got started. When I was in junior high and high school I was in band and jazz band. Then I went to Fredonia for a year before I got my music business degree from the University of Miami. I always playing trumpet throughout that time.
Q: How did you end up in Los Angeles?
A: It was my dream was to come to LA and be a studio musician ... Since I knew Tommy was out there, I wanted to move there when I was ready to. I went on the road with Glenn Miller Band Tommy Dorsey. Then I worked on cruise ships to save money to move and now I’ve been here for 26 years.
Q: So you’re a music contractor. What exactly is your job?
A: A music contractor works for a composer or producers. They tell me what they need, if it’s for a CD project, a music video, or a movie score, then they make me a grocery list. My job is to know the great players in town that do what they do. I know every musician in LA capable of doing a recording session. It’s not just having the knowledge of who plays what but it’s about being a project manager. I work a lot with Microsoft Excel, I’m the budget guy, I figure out what it costs each day, three months in advance. It’s all about budgeting, knowing the rates of union scales, knowing the players personally, then working for the composer hiring what they need.