6123 Lower York Rd
New Hope, PA 18938
Over the past three decades, A.J. Croce has established his reputation as a piano player and
serious vocal stylist who pulls from a host of musical traditions and anti-heroes, part New
Orleans, part juke joint, part soul. While his last album, JUST LIKE MEDICINE, paired him with
soul legend Dan Penn and an all star cast of players, his new album was born of memories of favorite artists and shows, but mostly, of late night gatherings with groups of friends, many
of them fellow musicians, with Croce at the piano taking requests. Croce revisits these musical
evenings on BY REQUEST, 12 personally curated covers that traverse decades and genres,
propelled by his spirited, piano mastery and emotive vocals. It’s a tribute to Croce the music
fan as well as Croce the musician that both the variety and execution is inspired, aided by a full
band and horns.
ised as sounding “like it was crafted with the influence of greats like Van
Morrison, Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello in mind.”
A.J.’s deep love for music is understandable considering that his mother, Ingrid, was a
singer/songwriter as was his father, the late Jim Croce. His father died in a tragic plane crash
just before his second birthday. A.J., who started playing piano at a young age, purposely
avoided his father’s music in order to establish his own identity as a musician. A.J.’s
relationship with his father’s music began changing around a dozen years ago, when he began
digitalized his father’s tapes. One old cassette contained a bar performance of Jim Croce
playing blues tunes that had influenced him. These were deep-cuts by folks like Mississippi
John Hurt, Blind Blake, Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry, and A.J. was amazed since these
songs were the ones that he had been playing since he was 12.
After more than 25 years making his own musical mark, he began performing some of his
Dad’s songs live and forming a special show out of it. In the past couple years, A.J. has begun
periodically performing a “Croce Plays Croce” concert, where he does Jim Croce songs, his
own tunes, and songs that influenced the two of them. He loves seeing “the joy it brings
audiences,” as well as enjoying that he can keep the shows fresh and exciting because he has
the flexibility to change up the set list each time out.
A.J. Croce’s family musical legacy is just part of his very unique life story. Born outside of
Philadelphia, A.J. moved with his mother and father to San Diego just before he turned two.
Around the age of four, he went blind due to horrific physical abuse from his mother’s then-
boyfriend. A.J. was hospitalized for half a year and was totally blind in both eyes for
It was during this time that he started playing piano, inspired by blind pianists like Ray Charles
and Stevie Wonder. Croce, who regained sight in his left eye when he was ten, went on to
spend his early teen years performing, including at his mother’s establishment, Croce’s Jazz
As he celebrates 30 years of a music career, with his newest album he says, “BY REQUEST” is
my way of inviting you over for a private gathering at my place. We listen to great music, laugh,
make great food and after a few drinks and maybe a few more we end up in my music room
and I start taking requests of every genre and era. The music is always fun and completely
diverse. We’ll play and sing all kinds of music. Some of my friends are professional musicians,
some do it for fun and many friends are just serious music fans. So you’ll fit right in.