Cosimo Matassa was born in 1926 and is a lifelong resident of New Orleans. He was the founder of J&M Recording Studio, the birthplace of many R&B and Rock and Roll classics. He is an Italian-American and a self-taught recording engineer. He graduated in 1941 from Warren Easton High School and briefly attended the chemistry program at Tulane University. He dropped out of college to work for his father's jukebox and record retain business on N.Rampart Street and within a short time started his recording studio at the back of the retail shop. He was skilled at microphone placement and capturing the sound of New Orleans R&B with a naturalistic feel. From 1947-1956, he owned and operated J&M Recording studio on N.Rampart Street and produced the records that helped give birth to Rock and Roll. From these recordings is where the term "The New Orleans Sound" of music came about, which is also known as "the Cosimo Sound." This unique sound featured strong drums, heavy guitar and bass, light piano, light horn and a strong vocal lead. Along with producer and arranger Dave Bartholomew, among many countless others.
He has received many music awards during his lifetime, including a Grammy Trustees Award from The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences in 2007, the New Orleans Magazine 1996 Iberville Award, the Big Easy Entertainment Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992, the Louis Prima Arts & Entertainment Award from The Louisiana American Italian Sports Hall of Fame in 2007, and was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2007. In September 2010, the site where Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studios was located, was designated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum as a historic Rock and Roll Landmark, one of 11 nationwide. In May, 2011, he was also honored, along with Dave Bartholomew, by Tipitina's, a music club in New Orleans that honors past and present New Orleans music legends, with his illuminated nameplate being embedded in their "Walk of Fame" sidewalk.
In May, 2011, Loyola University of New Orleans bestowed upon Mr. Matassa an Honorary Degree in Music for his lifelong accomplishments in music.
Mr. Matassa is retired and is liveing with one of his sons in Metairie.