Frank Leone – 1939-2022
Frank passed away September 23rd, at 83 years of age, after a courageous battle against Multiple Myeloma. Born in Philadelphia and making his home in Las Vegas, Frank was a true genius – The brightest, most well read, most articulate and most compassionate man we all knew and loved. He was a true renaissance man.
He began playing jazz as a teenager while attending South Philadelphia HS, at Musicians Union Local 77, and at small local jazz spots. A few years back, Frank was proud to be inducted into the South Philadelphia HS Alumni Hall of Fame for his Philadelphia roots were always close to his heart.
His serious music studies began at age 14 with Philadelphia’s celebrated composer, Romeo Cascarino; in what was to become a lifelong affiliation. At age 17 he received a scholarship to the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. At age 19, he was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music, where he received the degrees, Bachelor and Master of Music.
Acknowledged as an exceptional pianist, from 1971-1975 in Las Vegas showrooms, he accompanied a cadre of stars that included: Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Steve and Eydie, Carol Channing, Anthony Newley, Roy Clark, Ben Vereen, Robert Goulet, Tom Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., Ike and Tina Turner, Gladys Knight and The Pips, B.B. King, Ann-Margaret, Tony Bennett, and Elvis Presley, with whom he also toured.
His ability and expertise as a musical director, conductor, pianist, and arranger garnered him an illustrious career, working with some of the biggest names in entertainment, including: Red Skelton (1985-1994); Engelbert Humperdinck (1983-1984); Paul Anka (1975-1982); among many others. Frank has numerous TV and recording credits to his name.
Frank joined AFM Local 77 (Philadelphia) in February 1956, and Local 369 (Las Vegas) in December 1967. Frank Leone served on Local 369’s Executive Board, was President from 2000-2015, followed by President Emeritus status until his passing.
He was President of the Las Vegas Jazz Society (Vegas Jazz) starting in January of 2009 for 4 years.
Ever being the proud Italian, Frank was a longstanding member of the Italian American Club in Las Vegas for over 35 years, having served several terms during that time as Club Parliamentarian. Along with being member, and past President, of the Non-Club Club F.I.O.R.E.
Frank is survived by his dear friends and family, niece Maria Lauer (Thomas) and children Anthony & Marianna Dobos, brother Charles Leone (Barbara), Cousins Daniel Rendine (Marilynn) & Anthony Pierandozzi (Pat), Jill Leone, Diane Ecker, Nan Schwartz, Carole Fisher, Michelle Schwartz, & Brooke, Strider and Imogen Patton.
Donations in Frank’s honor can be made to the Nathan Adelson Hospice https://www.nah.org/get-involved/make-a-donation or by calling 702-938-3910.