Milford’s Jerry Seeco has made music around the world
Longtime Milford resident Jerry Seeco is a renowned jazz vocalist, musician, and arranger. Courtesy photos by Ray Drueke
By Linda Chuss
Everyone attending the Claflin Hill series concert at Milford Town Park on July 11 experienced a special treat as the renowned Jerry Seeco performed with the Milford Jazz Machine. Eighteen accomplished musicians delighted the crowd with favorites like “Fly Me to the Moon” and classics like “Summertime.”
Seeco, of Milford, has had a very full lifetime as a musician and instructor, having performed around the globe for six decades.
“Milford is very musical,” said Seeco. “When I moved here in 1960, I started a big band and had no trouble finding musicians.”
The town’s musical roots stretch back to Henry “Boots” Mussulli, a noteworthy 20th century jazz saxophonist from Milford. “We dedicated the show to him,” said Seeco, “and his daughter was in the audience, which was special. There are still many great players in town.”
As for Seeco’s own musical roots, they extend back to an Army R&B band in South Korea during the 1950s.
“I was a combat radio operator. Someone in Special Services heard me playing and invited me to join the band. We toured the Far East three times doing shows for soldiers.”
Closer to home, Seeco taught music in the Franklin and Hopedale school systems.
“Sometimes I get letters from former students, telling me I was an influence.” He was also a professor at Berklee College of Music, teaching vocal ensemble and arranging. “I really enjoyed the environment at Berklee. Through teaching the higher-level arranging classes, I was able to develop myself, too.”
In addition to his vocals, Seeco is known for his trumpet playing, and plays five other instruments. He has performed at Symphony Hall, the Boston Globe Jazz Festival, around Key West, and on national morning television shows. In Mexico, he was a guest conductor, and he has arranged numbers for the Boston Pops. Seeco played with many prominent big bands and vocalists, including the legendary Aretha Franklin.
“I’ve enjoyed all of it – the teaching, arranging, singing, playing. One highlight was returning to Korea for a concert a couple years ago. Phil Yoon, a student I taught at Berklee, was a drummer from Korea and brought me there to perform in an international jazz festival. It was a thrill to see the country’s beauty, a huge contrast to when I was there with the Army.”
Yoon made a video from the event, “My Dear Jerry Seeco,” available on YouTube at bit.ly/DearJerrySeeco
Seeco continues to perform in the area, most recently with Ernie Baraiolo’s band at Delvin’s in Bellingham. For more information, visit Seeco’s Facebook page @jerry.seeco.9.