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Organic Hudson Valley Magazine

Oct 2017

Great article features Vito and a better glimpse at what this artist is all about! Fantastic photo by dKol Photography 

 

By ML Ball

Vito Petroccitto: Possibly the Most Beloved Performer in the Hudson Valley

 

Vito Petroccitto was literally a musician before he was born.

As the story goes, Vito’s father, Vito Petroccitto, Sr., an exceptionally gifted drummer and vocalist, took up the trombone while his wife was pregnant with Vito Jr. When Vito’s dad would practice the new instrument at home, Vito’s mom insists that the in utero Vito would kick to the quarter note from the womb—in perfect time, no less. 

Is it any surprise then that 55 years later, Vito the Younger is still jamming to the beat in perfect time? 

But first things first. Born at St. Francis Hospital and raised in Hyde Park, Vito learned the music business from the ground up, primarily by watching and listening to his dad. “Music was non-stop in our house,” he says. “My dad worked a full-time job in Poughkeepsie, then would come home, shower and change, and head out to a gig. On weekends, he taught drums for Poughkeepsie Music.” Young Vito loved watching his dad practice and was mesmerized by the sound and the visuals of the sticks hitting the drums. Not surprisingly, it stuck.

As far as deciding to make music his career, Vito credits his brother Tony, who is nine years older, with convincing him. Tony bought Vito first guitar, taught him the basics of reading music and keeping time, got him to join his band, and took him out on the road to play weekend gigs in local bars when he was just a freshman in high school. During this time, Vito recalls, he was living two lives: as a member of his high school rock band and as a professional musician working the local club circuit with his brother’s band. 

Now, almost 40 years later, Vito is still going strong. Taking his brother’s advice all those years ago, he does it all: he’s a singer, songwriter, music teacher, record producer, engineer and session player; he plays the guitar, bass, drums and keyboards; he’s toured with and/or opened for famous bands like The Doobie Brothers, Eddie Money, Orleans and NRBQ; and he plays his own live gigs, either solo or with a group. He has his own recording studio (in his back yard) and has appeared with Pete Seeger in a Bill Moyer documentary about the Hudson River for PBS.But to us locals, Vito’s claim to fame is with a group he formed in the late ‘80s called Four Guys in Disguise, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. 

A self-proclaimed Jack of all trades, master of none, Vito is Mr. Mom (or more accurately, Mr. Dad) to his twin 10-year-old daughters during the day, and by night, one of the Hudson Valley’s most beloved entertainers. 

“If you’ve got a festival where you need a good crowd, say, 150 to 200 people, and you want them to have a great time, I’m your guy,” he proclaims. “My name brings them in.”

Rock on, Vito, rock on.

For more information or to contact Vito, visit www.iamvito.com.