I have known Jack Cecchini as a friend since my days in high school. He, Ron Steele and I were students of George Allen at that time. What pleases me now is to reflect on the fact that none of us were competitors for jobs or for George’s special attention. We all got along and rooted for each other – and shared whatever knowledge or advice we acquired. Jack lived in his parents’ apartment on Grand Ave. near Damen Ave. back then. I would sometimes take the Grand Ave. bus all the way home, following a lesson with George and, as the bus would near Damen Ave., I would see Jack walking down the street. A few times, I got off the bus and spent a few hours listening to him play. He would invite me into his apartment where he would play the plectrum guitar, classic guitar and mandolin for me. Always his playing was magnificent and exquisite, but the best part was that he would generously explain everything he was doing in order to coax such beautiful music from his instruments. He had a joyful look upon his face as he was sharing his knowledge. Jack has maintained, to this day, that same love of teaching and sharing. Like all of the great teachers that I know, he does not teach “for the money.” He is satisfied to “make a living” while keeping his fees low enough for students of low income to afford lessons with him.
As the years passed, I had the pleasure of playing on recording sessions for radio and TV commercials with Jack. He was always willing to cooperate in making the whole idea of two guitars, instead of one, be the best idea that the arranger and producer ever had.