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MEET THE BAND


JOE ZISA

Joe Zisa  was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey.

At the age of 12, Joe began to study sax and clarinet, and consequently, music became a huge influence in his life.  He started playing with several neighborhood bands.

  In 1958 Joe joined George Gerro, who had a band called “The Emeralds”.  He filled in for the sax player.  George then realized that Joe not only played sax, but he also sang lead.  Joe soon became a permanent member of the band.  In the late 50's and early 60's,"The Emeralds” dominated the area by playing at CYO and high school dances as well as at various parties.

Street corner singing was popular back then and in 1960 Joe and his good friend, Sal Sellitto joined “The Supremes," a vocal group who performed at the same venues with “The Emeralds”.

In 1963 Joe formed “Joey & the Lexingtons” and was signed with Dunes record label. They had a pick hit with a song called “Bobbie”, which made the Top 1000 Doo Wop Hits.

Throughout the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, “The Emerald Experience” was one of the premier wedding bands in North Jersey and consistently packed night clubs whenever they performed.

In 1984 Joe, Sal, John Lepore and George Gerro appeared in several TV commercials for "Gibraltar Transmission”.

Today Joe continues to perform with “The Emerald Experience”.  In 2003 he formed “Joe Zisa & Friends” with Sal Sellitto, Bernie LaPorta and Carol Dante.  The group performs regularly at cabarets, restaurants and small private parties.

WE’RE STILL ROCKIN’


SAL SELLITTO

Sal Sellitto was born and  raised in Paterson, New Jersey.

At an early age Sal was interested in the latest hit records and was usually seen carrying his radio and singing along with the popular songs.

At the age of 15, Sal joined neighborhood guys and harmonized to the emerging Doo Wop hits.  He always enjoyed singing background vocals—especially the first tenor and falsetto parts!  While attending Don Bosco Tech from 1956–1960, Sal sang in the chorus and this experience, along with vocal training he received, helped sharpen his singing abilities.

In 1958 Sal joined his first vocal group called “The Pageants” who performed at local church dances and small parties.  In 1960 he joined Joe Zisa in a group called “The Supremes”.  They performed at CYO dances and often sang at dances simultaneously with the “Emeralds”.

In late 1962 Sal formed a new group called “Sal and the Sinceres”.   Shortly before Sal was drafted into the U.S. Army, the group cut a demo record and came close to signing a recording deal with Epic Records.  When Sal was discharged from the Army in 1966, he met Joe Zisa, his long-time friend, and Joe asked him to join “The Emerald Experience”.

Today Sal continues to be a member of “The Emerald Experience and in 2003 joined Joe, Bernie and Carol in the formation of “Joe Zisa & Friends”.

Sal credits his love and dedication of entertaining to Elvis Presley and many of the great vocal groups of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  He really enjoys performing with “Joe Zisa & Friends” in the intimate setting of cabarets and restaurants.


CAROL DANTE

Carol Dante grew up in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.

In 1967 she joined her first band called “Soul Machine”.  Soon after she performed with a very popular band called “The Court of Appeal”.

Carol then ventured out and formed her own band called “Black Rose”.  With Carol singing lead vocals, the band was soon signed by RCA.

After “Black Rose”, Carol became a member of an outstanding group called “Rich Kelly and Friends”.  They were a crowd favorite at places like “The Outrigger” and “The Top of the Mast”.

In 1979 and 1980 Carol joined “North Star”, which also featured John Lepore on keyboards.  The band toured Hawaii during both of those years.

The 80’s kicked off with Carol forming and leading a very popular band called “Dante’s Inferno”.  They were one of the top attractions in the North Jersey area for about twelve years.   Dante's Inferno appeared regularly to packed houses at many Holiday Inns and popular lounges during that time.

In the late 90’s Carol joined Joe Zisa and Sal Sellitto in “The Emerald Experience”.  She currently performs on a regular basis with “The Emerald Experience”, and in 2003 joined Joe, Sal, and former Happenings member, Bernie LaPorta  in the formation of  “Joe Zisa & Friends”.  

Carol continues to “wow”audiences with her stage presence and her power-packed lead vocals as well as her impressive background vocals.


BERNIE LaPORTA