Vinny Golia Continues To Enable Young Talent

Vinny Golia
Vinny Golia is using his residency at the Blue Whale, which celebrates his Nine Winds label's 35th anniversary, to showcase young musical talent.

It may surprise — or even shock — jazz fans that multi-reed player Vinny Golia's Wednesday night residence at the Blue Whale this month is a celebration of his Nine Winds label's 35th anniversary. Nobody will be surprised to learn that the composer-bandleader is giving over those nights to the music of worthy young players.

Since the Bronx native first moved to Los Angeles in 1973, Golia has been a collaborative artist. As a developing multi-instrumentalist, he made strong and lasting connections to several pockets of avant-garde and new music musicians around the Southland. His ongoing Large Ensemble concerts (begun in 1982) have pulled together players from different areas and disciplines, occasioning many first-time meetings and lasting collaborations.

Though Tom Albach's Nimbus Records had begun recording Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra avatar Horace Tapscott in the 1970s, there were no labels in Southern California to otherwise document the vital new music scene in L.A. Golia inaugurated Nine Winds with 1977's “Spirits in Fellowship" and has used the label over the years to disseminate his own ever-expanding compositions and formats (the “Music for Like Instruments" series has releases for clarinet, flute and Ef saxophone music), and to showcase other deserving musicians. (Nine Winds refers to the Golia horn arsenal, which has since multiplied exponentially.)

Before moving west, he'd been a painter of some renown in New York City (that's Golia's painting on the cover of Chick Corea's 1970 “The Song of Singing" album), exploring the saxophone for himself. A visit to Los Angeles in 1971 prompted him to return permanently two years later. The elders of L.A. new music — clarinetist John Carter, cornetist Bobby Bradford and pianist Tapscott — were all welcoming to the developing reed omnivore.

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