A few years ago I was enjoying a night out at a local venue when a rather interesting looking man caught my eye. He appeared to have a certain presence about him that demanded attention and I noted that I was not the only one present that took notice of him. Months later, after several times of seeing him, I finally learned his name as well as a few of the details about his life, which proved to be even more interesting than I had originally suspected. Jackie Bertone is a legend in his own right. Even better, he is local to the Temecula Valley area as well. Bertone is an accomplished session percussionist that has played with a plethora of well-known bands as well as solo musicians throughout his multiyear career. However, that is only the beginning of what makes this incredible man so remarkably unique and truly memorable.
Bertone is the son of an Italian father and an Armenian mother. It was his mother that gave him his first set of bongo drums when he was just 9 years old. Rather than become a passing interest, as is the case so often when young children are given musical instruments, playing percussion instruments became a way of life for Bertone. To date Bertone has played with many well-known musicians. He has been hired to play for some of the best in the industry, including but not limited to, Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys, Kenny G., Earth, Wind and Fire, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, Big Mountain, Timothy B. Schmidt, Jimmy Buffet, Wilson Phillips, Tower of Power, and Michael McDonald. Locally Bertone has often joined the highly talented and heavily followed Temecula based band Master Splinter and the Shredders on many of their local engagements.
While music is a huge part of Bertone's life there is also much more to him as well. Bertone is afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis, the first signs of which, numbness and tingling in his fingers, were initially noted in 1996. Since being diagnosed with MS in 1998 Bertone has become the leading spokesperson for the MS Lifelines. True to Bertone's gregarious and warm hearted character, he has generously devoted hours of his time to speaking at MS symposiums trying to reach out to others that are afflicted with the syndrome. Using his voice and music as a gateway he attempts to bring cheer to those he contacts, offering them hope and giving them inspiration to do well in managing their health. Bertone, who has managed the syndrome well, credits his successful outcome to remaining active and continuing to play percussion, an activity which requires flexibility and endurance.
Another of Bertone's many accomplishments to date has been his amazingly successful weight loss following his Mini-Gastric Bypass procedure in 2008. Prior to undergoing surgery, Bertone, who at that time weighed 400 pounds, had been confined to a wheelchair. To date Bertone has lost 175 pounds and no longer requires the use of a wheelchair which has understandably improved the overall quality of his life.
All of his other achievements notwithstanding, Bertone's most enjoyable success thus far, however, is the long lasting love and happiness he has found with his soul mate and best friend, Caprice, to whom he has been married for decades. Bertone regularly describes the two of them as the modern day Desi and Lucy, a description which aptly describes the cheerful, fun loving pair.
To find out more about Bertone go to http://www.jackiebertone.com/. Bertone's delectable musical stylings can also be enjoyed this coming Friday, January 31st, at the Pala Casino and Resort where he will playing with the well-loved Wilson Phillips Band. For event information and tickets go to https://www.palacasino.com/entertainment/. For those that enjoy radio shows Bertone will be featured on an internet radio show entitled Chords and Vines on February 2nd.
Bertone has a trademarked phrase that he so often uses when communicating with others. Simple but truthful, he says "Peace Through Music" in nearly all written communications and with all that he has accomplished and overcome through music, it is an impeccable self-description of the man and his life.