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Frank Paparelli

Pianist, Composer

(1917 - 1973)

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Frank Paparelli was a jazz pianist who played with a number of bands, most notably with Dizzy Gillespie in the 1940’s. In Dizzy Gillepsie’s autobiography, To Be or Not to Bop, Gillespie says that Paparelli transcribed some of his solos for publication and as a reward got a piece of “Night in Tunisia,” but he had nothing to do with composing it.*

Regardless, Paparelli is now considered an underrated piano player who went on to play in nightclubs and who also published a number of songs and sheet music collections. Besides “Night in Tunisia,” Paparelli will be remembered for “Blue ‘n Boogie” (1944) and “Petootie Pie” (1945). Paprelli’s sheet music collections include Boogie Woogie and Boogie Woogie for Beginners.

- Sandra Burlingame

* Joan Kathryn Paparelli emailed JazzBiographies.com to disagree with this statement. At her website, frankpaparelli.com, is a biography, originally written by her mother, that states,

”Frank’s most important contribution to this composition was the tag at the end which originated from his piano arrangement in the Dizzy Gillespie Trumpet Book. ‘A Night in Tunisia’, never would have been a hit without Frank’s memorable tag.”

A Night in Tunisia

Arturo O'Farrill

Night in Tunisia

Charlie Parker

Night in Tunisia / Live at Bach Dynamite & Dancing

Art Pepper

Encores, Vol. 2: Blue 'N' Boogie

Wes Montgomery

Ella & Friends

Ella Fitzgerald (Includes "Petootie Pie")

Shaw Nuff

Dizzy Gillespie Paparelli on piano

Groovin' High

Dizzy Gillespie Paparelli on piano

A Night in Tunisia

Art Blakey
Reading and Viewing

At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price

Frank Paparelli

Boogie Woogie for Beginners

Hal Leonard Corporation

Dizzy Gillespie

To Be or Not to Bop: Memoirs of Dizzy Gillespie (A Da Capo paperback)

Da Capo Press

Frank Paparelli

Leeds' Eight to the Bar : Boogie Woogie Piano Method Book in All its Styles

Leeds Music Corporation

Frank Paparelli


Leeds Music Corp.

Alfred Molina, Marianne Faithfull, Rachael Bella, Maggie O'Neill

When Pigs Fly

Ventura Distribution

VHS Includes "Night in Tunisia"

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