NORTH ADAMS -- One of the hottest bands on the North County senior circuit is looking for a musician -- either a guitar player or a pianist -- that can handle the load.

The right candidate, however, will be retired or not have a day job, and be willing to play just for the love of it. The Aladdins play for free.

The Aladdins have been playing Big Band-era music at local nursing homes and senior centers for quite some time.

The first Aladdins band started in the late 1940s and included current band member Tom Leonesio. Back then it was a professional orchestra that played at weddings and other special events. After a few years, Leonesio left the group to play in other bands. He plays the accordion and sings.

But in 1987, he restarted the Aladdins as a volunteer group, which would play for local seniors at no charge.

At 93, he says he needs someone to carry the melody so he can improvise a little with his accordion.

Today, the Aladdins include Leonesio, vocalist Mary Rosasco, who turns 98 on Aug. 25, and Ed Morandi, a 72-year-old vocalist.

Being the youngest in the group, Morandi said, he also serves as their roadie, carrying all the heavy stuff.

The Aladdins play gigs all over the county, and in southern Vermont as well. They have even played a few shows while visiting relatives in Italy.

The holiday season is especially busy for the Aladdins.

"We used to do 20 gigs in December," Leonesio said.


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"Now we're down to about 13 or 14."

Next week they have three shows, including a gig Wednesday at Sweet Brook Nursing Center and again on Thursday at the Clarksburg Council on Aging. Their shows run from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The trio has seen plenty of folks bow out over the years, but these three don't seem to be slowing down.

"I'll keep singing ‘til I got to quit," Rosasco said.

"We'll keep on going ‘til they throw us out," Morandi added. Noting his status as "apprentice," he said, "We have to go at least another eight years so I can become a full-fledged member."

Leonesio was thinking about quitting a while back, but his daughter convinced him he should keep going until he turns 100.

"I don't know if I'll make it that far," he said laughing.

Leonesio said his age may be starting to catch up with them a little bit.

"I'm not what I used to be," he said. "I hit a few clunkers these days, as we all do."

To reach Scott Stafford:
sstafford@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 663-3741, ext. 227.
On Twitter: @BESStafford