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Traversari 1996

FROM `RUNNER' TO MARKETING CHIEF ED TRAVERSARI HAS BUILT A CAREER ON PROMOTING ROCK CONCERTS

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) - Sunday, November 10, 1996

Author: JEANNE DUTEL-MARTINO

Like many teen-agers growing up in the '70s, Ed Traversari wanted to be a rock star.

He passionately followed the likes of James Taylor, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and that most lawyerly sounding of musical groups: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Today the McCandless resident is about as close as he can be to his dream without actually playing a guitar. He is a partner in DiCesare-Engler Productions Inc., helping to put on one major Pittsburgh performance after another, including Friday night's concert by The Who in the Civic Arena.

``It certainly helps you stay young, being in this business,'' said Traverasi, 43, DiCesare-Engler 's director or marketing and advertising. His firm is one of only about 20 major-city concert promotion companies operating in the United States.

As a youngster growing up in Dunlevy, a small town in Washington County, Traversari learned to play the drums, and performed with several small bands during his years at Charleroi High School.

It was later at Robert Morris College that Traversari realized his future and fortune did not lie in the performing end of the music business.

``I knew then the hard, cold truth about myself, and I knew I was not going to make it on the band side,'' he said. He opted instead to put his energy into his position as student activities president. Traversari began booking local bands for college events.

One of his early promotion coups was bringing guitarist Roy Buchanan to the Moon Township campus for a concert. ``I really started getting the bug,'' Traversari said.

Reality struck again, however, after his 1974 graduation and marriage to his high-school sweetheart. The only job he could find was at a local Radio Shack store.

``I thought, well, if I couldn't be a rock star or book concerts, I could at least sell stereos,'' he said with a laugh.

A year later in 1975, Traversari responded to a newspaper ad

`` DiCesare-Engler was looking for a `runner.' I got the job. And I ran everywhere, driving bands around town, to the airport, answering the phones, you name it,'' Traversari said. He's never left, and has never stopped running.

Today Traversari says his three children are ``great barometers'' in helping him determine whether a band will be a successful draw in Pittsburgh.

``I'm always bringing home music and asking them for help,'' Traversari said of his sons, Taylor, 16, and Cory, 15, and his daughter, Cyndee, 11.

Traversari, who spends many 16-hour workdays away from home, says he tries to make up for it by spending quality time with his family.

Each spring and summer, Traversari can be seen coaching Cyndee's McCandless softball team and Taylor and Cory's soccer squads.

``I enjoy getting out there and being with my kids. Coaching especially an all-girls softball team is the best way I know to help with all that stress out there,'' he said.

Traversari and his wife, MaryPat, also are active in the North Allegheny School District. She is a teachers' assistant at Bradford Woods Elementary School, and he annually volunteers his talents to help produce the Carson Middle School talent show.

``I'm looking forward to playing the drums for an upcoming `Blues Brothers' show we're going to perform,'' Traversari said.

He said he always enjoys retreating back to his home in McCandless.

``Being with my family is the best release from the craziness of this business,'' he said.