Giovanni Graziani, Restaurateur, Longtime Zumix Supporter

Giovanni Graziani, a longtime East Boston resident, Salem restaurant owner and proud supporter of Zumix’s music program in the neighborhood died on Friday, May 1 from complications due to COVID-19.

For those who knew Graziani and were touched by his warmth and generosity knew him as a gentleman through and through. He will be terribly missed by the community that he called home and the people and organizations that he and his wife, Paula loved in the community. 

Graziani was born in Piglio, Italy before coming to Boston.

He made a career as the proprietor for 25 years of Caffe Graziani in Salem, a place loved by patrons far and wide.

However, it was his and his wife’s commitment to Zumix that made him especially loved among the neighborhood’s music community.

“I’m so upset that Giovanni Graziani passed away from Covid-related illness,” said longtime Zumix instructor Steward Meradith. “I love that family. Their son Giacomo was a student for many years, and his wife Paula helped with Zumix’s Diversity band by helping transport their equipment from gig to gig all the while running their restaurant in Salem.”

Graziani’s son, Giancarlo, said some of the things his father loved most were tennis and music. Giancarlo and his family set up a GoFundMe page at to help both Zumix’s music program as well as the Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center nonprofit.

“We are asking for donations be given in his name for two Boston nonprofits that were close to his and our hearts,” said  Giancarlo. “Zumix empowers young people to build successful futures for themselves through music and creative employment while the Sportsmen’s provides academic, wellness and social development programs alongside recreational and competitive tennis instruction.”

As of Tuesday the fundraising effort has raised over $300 over its $2,000 goal.

“On behalf of everyone at ZUMIX, I want to extend my deepest condolences to Paula, Giancarlo and Giacomo Graziani,” said Zumix Founder and Executive Director Madeleine Steczynski. “We were all heartbroken to hear of Giovanni’s passing, and will do everything we can to keep his spirit alive by inspiring our students to be kind, to work hard, and to give back to their community through music.”

Giancarlo and his brother, Giacomo, are planning a memorial workout event for their father this Saturday. The workout will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday May 16.

“It will be accessible to all levels of fitness and experience,” said Giancarlo.

To join the workout please visit this link at the stated date and time at

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