Richie Cole

Richie began playing alto saxophone in Trenton, New Jersey when he was 10. Cole was influenced by Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins. His talent and dedication earned him a full scholarship from Downbeat Magazine and the Berklee School of Music, Boston. Cole’s professional career began in 1969, when he joined Buddy Rich Big Band. After stints with the Doc Severinsen Big Band and the Lionel Hampton Big Band, Cole started his own quintet. He toured the world, helping to popularize bebop in the 70’s, 80’s, and his “Alto Madness”, style. Cole has recorded and performed with many of his musical collaborators including Bobby Enriquez and Freddie Hubbard as well as Eddie Jefferson and the Manhattan Transfer. Cole performed at Carnegie Hall and the Village Vanguard, as well as a command performance for Queen Elizabeth II. Cole has released over 50 albums and CDs including “Hollywood Madness” (1979 Muse Records), and “Richie Cole plays West Side Story”, (1997 Music Masters Jazz). Cole is a prolific composer and arranges for large bands, symphony orchestras, and performances at jazz festivals around the world. Cole enjoys sharing his passion for music with younger generations. He is actively recording, touring, and teaching master classes at universities. Cole was elected to the Board of the National Jazz Service Organization as well as the Board for the National Endowment for the Arts, where he was chairman for one-year. Cole is also a charter member of International Association of Jazz Educators. He was presented with the State of California Congressional Certificate of Lifetime Achievement for Jazz in 2005 by the Temecula Jazz Society. Richie Cole’s sweet alto saxophone sound and his creativity behind the Alto Madness Orchestra are well-known worldwide. Cole created the Alto Madness Orchestra in the early 1990’s. Its continued popularity is a testament to its uniqueness. Richie says, “The Orchestra’s concept and sound is that of an eighteen-piece bigband using seven instruments, four of them horns.” This not only has the big band ensemble sound but also gives us ample room to improvise as if we were playing in a quartet. From

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