Ray Pizzi

Ray Pizzi is one of the most respected jazz bassoonists. He is also a versatile multi-reedist and has been long underrated. However, he is an asset to any session that he plays. Pizzi began his career on the clarinet. He also studied at the Berklee School of Music and the Boston Conservatory during the first half of 1960s. Pizzi was a Woody Herman Orchestra tour leader in 1966, but spent the majority of his time (1964-1969), as a Massachusetts schoolteacher. Pizzi moved to California in 1969 and became a full-time musician. He worked extensively in the studios with many jazz greats, including Shelly Manne and Dizzy Gillespie. Pizzi was also a jazz educator, and has been so ever since. He has recorded on several labels including Discovery and Pablo, as well as being on many of the recordings of pop artists like Gladys Knight and Michael Buble. Pizzi’s bassoon or saxophones are also heard in scores and soundtracks of many Hollywood films and TV shows. This includes the iconic Star Wars: Return of the Jedi cantina scene. Allmusic

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