Baritone Saxophonist Nick Brignola Succumbs to Cancer


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Baritone sax great Nick Brignola died at the Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY on Feb. 8, 2002 after a long battle with cancer.

Mainly self-taught, he studied music at Ithaca College and Berklee School of Music in the mid 1950s. His greatest baritone influence was Harry Carney of The Duke Ellington band who became his mentor.

He played with guitarist Sal Salvador and Woody Herman in the early 60s and recorded with Woody in 1964. He also had a ten year association with trumpeter Ted Curson beginning in 1967.

He received a Grammy nomination in 1980 for his Seabreeze recording LA Bound. Other highlights from his musical career include: Performing and recording with the Mingus Super Band in 1988; performing and recording with the Phil Woods Little Big Band from 1988 - 1990; and performing and recording with the Three Baritone Saxophone Band (Ronnie Cuber & Gary Smulyan)in 1998.

Brignola recorded ten CDs for Reservoir Music since 1988. The last CD, Tour De Force, will be released on February 26, 2002.

Nick has won most of the “Down Beat" and “JazzTimes" Readers' and Critics' Polls over the past five years, including the latest “JazzTimes" Reader's Poll.

Nick is survived by his wife Yvonne, daughters Jillian Haggerty and Kristin Walker, and son Nicholas Brignola, and one granddaughter.

Funeral services will be on Tuesday, Feb. 12th at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Albany, NY

For more info on Nick and his career visit: http://www.brignola.com.

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