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Astoria musician gets some YouTube attention

July 16, 2013 By Bill Parry

An Astoria musician’s ode to summer fun is creating a buzz on YouTube with nearly 1200 views in two weeks.

The song, “In the Summa”, is performed by Joe Summa, an alter ego of guitarist Joe Pepe.

“The song gets more popular as the temperature rises,” said Pepe, adding, “If you can’t get to the beach it’s the next best thing.”

The 30-year old created the musical character Joe Summa two years ago as comic relief from his serious work with two local rock bands. His stage name has its roots in his Long Island upbringing.

“When I moved to Astoria seven years ago to be part of the local music scene here, everyone made fun of my Long Island accent,” the Islip native said. “On the south shore no one uses the letter ‘R,’ so ‘summer’ became ‘Summa.’”

Pepe’s ‘In the Summa” follows an earlier video, called “Pizza Party,” which generated more than 20,000 views on YouTube.  That video/song was based on Joe Summa’s love of pizza.

During a recent visit to an Astoria pizzeria, he was asked to perform by the restaurant owners. “Joe Summa is big with the pizza crowd,” Pepe said.

Pepe’s alter ego got him a job shooting a commercial for the owners of Table 87, a pizzeria on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. The owner was drawn to his Pizza Party song/video.

Pepe’s two serious bands are Illimanjaro (rock/hip hop) and The Dirty Wings (indy punk rock).

The guitarist appears with his band Dirty Wings this Saturday night at Singlecut Beersmiths at 19-33 37th Street. Both bands have albums due this fall.

One local insider described Pepe as a guitar virtuoso with a goofy side, and views him as Astoria’s own Frank Zappa.

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