(Upright) Attitude

Elio DeLuca, center, with Danielle Geihs, and Jake Liman

Elio DeLuca, A01, began playing piano at age five when his parents succumbed to his entreaties to acquire his grandfather's green upright piano. DeLuca's parents, Helen and Eugenio DeLuca, E58, were reluctant to let the well-worn instrument into their Wellesley, Massachusetts, home, but they gave in when the instrument's beautiful woodfinish was restored.

Still, a trace of green remains. In addition to his dual degree (English and composition through the New England Conservatory program), the senior recently released Green Upright Piano, a CD of original jazz compositions. Building on a newfound yen for engineering and producing has also led him to form his own independent record company, Telepathy Records.

While he admits "there's no guarantee of success in the music business," he's banking on Tufts talent, including senior Jake Liman, A01- "he's the everything guy, from roadie to assistant producer"-and Brandon Keim, A99, graphic designer.

Dedicated to "the finer points of life, such as a deep groove, an organic source, a pristine sound and the right attitude," the Telepathy label has appealed to a variety of artists and has already produced five CDs, many with Tufts connections.

DeLuca recently produced albums for folksinger Sara Shansky, J00 (Stamp Mileage) and for the pop rock group the Danielle Geihs Band, with lead singer/songwriter Danielle Geihs, J00. (Hiding Places will be released this winter, followed by a Northeast tour.)

Telepathy also recently released The Limbic Trip, an "electric jazz fusion" album from sophomore Mike Sempert and the band Ellipsis, which includes sophomore Dan Blake on saxophones. Telepathy Records' reach extends to international jazz drummer Pheeroan Aklaff and Michael Cain, an accomplished pianist and producer. Brooklyn Water is the first album from Aklaff/Cain to be released on Telepathy.

"I'm glad to have this opportunity to get their work out there," says DeLuca. "It's a major release for Telepathy since it's our first real nationally distributed album, and we're booking a three-city U.S. tour followed by two weeks in Europe."

Tufts' location, according to DeLuca, is perfect for innovative musicians. "Boston has it all-a music scene with every genre and style, lots of radio and press, huge collegiate audiences, and plenty of bands," he says. "You have to be the one who wants to succeed more than anyone else."

Until Telepathy Records gets on solid footing, DeLuca must be a master juggler to keep up with school and keep Telepathy active. He tries to find time to play piano for his jazz ensemble, the Elio DeLuca Module, and to continue to make new contacts. A flexible schedule, lots of coffee, many dedicated artists and friends, and some "how to succeed in business" books are helping DeLuca accomplish his numerous projects. "This is what I want to be doing with my life," says DeLuca. "But it's supporting something I believe in: the vital work of talented artists." For more information, visit -Carolyn Ellis









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