Academy Member: John Reno

John Reno

Born in New Orleans, John Reno is truly a child of the Mardi Gras. His stepfather owned the largest record store in New Orleans; his personal record collection covered a myriad of genres, so John grew up listening to the likes of Sinatra, Crosby, James Brown, Elvis, and the Beatles.

Influenced by New Orleans legends such as Al Hirt and Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, he began studying the trumpet at age 10. At age 12, the music of Jim Croce, James Taylor and Dan Fogelberg convinced him to switch to acoustic guitar and introduced him to the world of the singer-songwriter.

John graduated from Loyola University with a degree in accounting, but after spending several years in the corporate world, he went to lunch one day and never returned.

In the ’90s, John performed a Jimmy Buffett style show called, Pirates, Parrots & Margaritas on over 200 college campuses. In 2010, he was a top five finalist (out of 3,500 entrants) in the National Folgers Coffee Jingle Contest.

John has produced eight CDs, including his latest, The Music of Jim Croce. He co-wrote the song “Heartaches & Hangovers” for the Magic Chair CD with late NFL legendary quarterback, Kenny “Snake” Stabler. You can hear this song, along with “Mayday,” written with author Beth Hanggeli, on SiriusXM Satellite’s Radio Margaritaville.

His humorous/risqué, double entendre-filled music video, Big Ol ‘Johnson, has garnered 640,000 hits on YouTube; this instructional video on outboard motors is still being discovered by boat enthusiasts every day.

John’s latest project is The Jim Croce Tribute, which he performs in theaters across the U.S. and Canada, accompanied by Brett Gambino. One of their proudest moments was having Ingrid Croce invite them to perform the Tribute at Croce’s Park West for the annual Jim Croce Birthday Celebration.

John is a singer/songwriter who performs house concerts across the country, from Seattle to Key West, and occasionally wandering into Canada. An avid fisherman and sailor, he writes nautically-inspired songs for the heart, and humorous tunes that tickle the funny bone and poke fun at the human condition.

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