Nick Brignola

Nick Brignola’s 45 year career has brought him in contact with many of today’s most talented mainstream improvisers. He was most well-known for his baritone saxophone playing, but he also recorded and performed with alto and soprano flute and clarinet. Although not widely known in the U.S., Brignola was greatly loved by jazz fans at home and internationally (especially in his last decade of activity). He recorded more than 20 albums as an artist and continued to be a respected sideman until his death in 2002. He was born in Troy, NY on July 17, 1936. He started playing the clarinet at age 11 and experimented with flute and alto saxophones. Legend has it that the baritone came into his life after he brought his alto to a music shop for repairs and was given the only member of their saxophone clan. Duke Ellington’s renowned anchorman Harry Carney was Brignola’s first significant influence on the big-horn. He was a Boston native who tutored and encouraged him as he grew up in big bands and bebop. New Designs in Jazz is the first recorded example of Nick Brignola, an album by The Reese Markewich Quint that dates back to 1957. The band was born out of Markevich’s Mark V, which Brignola joined as a student musician at Ithaca College. They also performed at the Cafe Bohemia in Greenwich Village. Brignola was largely an autodidact and earned a Benny Goodman scholarship to Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He recorded with Herb Pomeroy, a Boston trumpeter, and formed a friendship with Dick Berk, a drummer. Brignola played his horns in the company of Woody Herman

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