September 2, 1915-December 24, 2004
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Alessi was born to Joseph Alessi and Josephine Interrante and grew up in Norwood, New Jersey. He is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Maria Leone Alessi; his two sons, Joseph Alessi and daughter-in-law Katherine Rife; Ralph Alessi and wife Elizabeth; caring sister, Margaret Haas; and two grandchildren, Joseph and Gianna Alessi. He was predeceased by two sisters and a brother, Martha Rabitto, Vivian and Nicholas Alessi.
At the age of eleven, he began studying trumpet with his father, who was a professor at the Manhattan School of Music and played trumpet in the NBC Symphony. He received a scholarship to the Julliard School, where he studied with Max Schlossberg. After Schlossberg’s death, Joseph Alessi continued his studies with William Vacchiano. and later with Harry Glanz. Mr. Alessi held a Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music and an M.A. from the California State University at San Francisco. Honorably discharged in 1945 from the United States Navy after serving in World War II, Joe Alessi made his career in New York performing with the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, the New York City Symphony and Opera under the direction of Leonard Bernstein, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra from 1948-59 and the Goldman Band. Together, he and William Vacchiano designed the Alessi/Vacchiano and the Jo-Ral series of brass instrument mutes.
With his wife, Maria Leone Alessi, a former soprano at the Metropolian Opera he moved to Las Vegas in 1959 and performed at all the major hotels. Moving to San Franciso in 1961, he performed for a year with the San Francisco Symphony before embarking on a teaching career. He was a teacher at Aptos Junior High School, City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University and became a master trumpet teacher to a prolific number of professional musicians worldwide. An avid golfer and story-teller, Mr. Alessi had a great sense of humor and a wide circle of friends, colleagues and students with whom he stayed in touch.
A Rosary will be said on Tuesday, December 28 at 7 PM at Mount Tamalpais Mortuary, 2500 Fifth Ave., San Rafael, CA 94901. A funeral mass will take place at 10 AM at St. Isabella’s Church, 1 Trinity Way San Rafael, CA 94903 (Terra Linda) with interment to follow Mount Olivet Cemetery in Terra Linda. Memorial donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to Hospice of Marin Foundation, 17 East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Larkspur, CA, 94939, or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.