Dominic Cortese

Dominic Cortese

Accordian icon Accordian

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August 9, 2001 (Age 79) died

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October 16, 1921 Birthday

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New York, New York, U.S. Birthplace

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Dominic Cortese was possibly the most recorded accordionist of the 20th century. He appears on thousands of recordings across all genres, including pop, jazz, polka, novelty tunes and movie soundtracks. In the 1960s Cortese recorded a few albums of traditional Italian songs under his own name, but he is primarily known for his work on others' albums. Cortese can be heard on recordings with artists such as Bob Dyan, Billy Joel, Elvis Presley, Art Garfunkel, Dione Warwick and Ron Carter. He also can be heard on movie soundtracks, most notably playing the accordion solo for the film "Moonstruck." Dominic Cortese died in New York in 2001 at the age of 79.


Dominic Cortese appears in the film "Moonstruck." Dominic Cortese was obsessed with baseball. In his later years, Cortese preferred to play in small jazz combos.

Early Life

Dominic Cortese was born in 1921. Some sources state he was born in Italy while others cite New York. Regardless, by his teens he was living in New York and playing the accordion. Cortese was drafted into the army during WWII. After completing his service, he returned to New York, joined the local musician's union and began his career.