Harvey Wainapel

Primary Instrument: Reeds

Born: March 31, 1951    

Harvey Wainapel

“Wainapel proves that he is amongst the most imaginative, sensitive and creative saxophonists of the post-Coltrane era…” —The San Francisco Examiner

“Wainapel displayed incredible intimacy with the language of Brazilian music and great stage presence…” —O Globo (Rio de Janeiro)

Can a man serve two masters? If the cat in question is Bay Area reed expert Harvey Wainapel, and the disciplines are jazz and Brazilian music, the answer is a resounding yes. A supremely eloquent clarinetist and a saxophonist of unusual presence and power, Wainapel is a truly ambidextrous artist who has delved deeply into two vast and variegated traditions. Of course, musical currents have ebbed and flowed between the two continental nations for much of the past century, and Wainapel is fully at home at the confluence of those influences (he’s toured widely with Brazilian jazz giants Airto Moreira and Flora Purim). But most of the time he’s got his feet firmly planted in one country or the other, even if his experience in the south shapes his work as an improviser. “The Brazilian side injects a lot of emotion into my playing, and it opened up my concept of melody and harmony,” Wainapel says....
read more


“The performance aroused a standing ovation for what was two sets of intricately conceived and played compositions.”—L.A. JAZZ SCENE

“Wainapel plays with the performance attitude which for me is what jazz and improvisation is all about…it’s a pleasure to listen to Harvey’s soulful interpretations.”—JOE LOVANO

“The room is warm, the audience is happy, and he is good…Wainapel’s star shines brighter.” —SKY MAGAZINE (DELTA AIRLINES) Reviewed at La Villa (Paris, France)

“Extraordinary tonal sensibility, wisdom, maturity and inner harmony.” —STUTTGARTER ZEITUNG (Stuttgart, Germany)

“…world-class…the results were fantastic”—THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

“Wainapel displayed incredible intimacy with the language of Brazilian music and great stage presence.” —O GLOBO (Rio de Janeiro) Reviewed in concert with guitar virtuoso Paulo Bellinati

“ Harvey understands Brazilian music in a way that's very unusual; he's got the spirit, he's a great musician!”—IVAN LINS

CD: AMIGOS BRASILEIROS “★★★★1/2 Joyous music presented on this CD. Wainapel has created a compendium of a Brazilian stew of native musical genres sure to please anyone wanting to experience the best that this intriguing country offers to an American audience that has had little exposure beyond Bossa Nova.” —AUDIOPHILE AUDITION (online review)

“When an artist takes time to get involved profoundly with the culture and music of a foreign country, the results can be amazing. Harvey Wainapel has delved deep into Brazilian music, and the end product shows in his latest CD. In this album he is joined by some forty Brazilian musicians...Wainapel shows what he is capable of...they all have a great time with the music showcased in Amigos Brasileiros...a great accomplishment in Wainapel’s career.”

—MÚSICABRASILEIRA. ORG (online review)

CD: THE HANG “★★★★ Wainapel delivers his best recording to date… it succeeds for all the right jazz reasons: impeccable arrangements, highly expressive execution and radiant ensemble fellowship.” —DOWNBEAT “This is an astonishing, exciting CD. It’s a monumental showcase for virtuoso jazz woodwind player Wainapel, who plays beautifully throughout… Plenty of heat but no compromise with melody here. Lots of grand solos but steady rich ensemble choruses too.” —SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

“Wainapel and Barron work particularly well together and maintain a sultry, almost mysterious groove throughout. Each of the soloists is given plenty of space to develop his ideas and the result is a consistent work of seductive beauty. Listeners won't be cheated by the 70 minutes of fine music performed on this recommended set.” —ALLMUSIC .COM

“…quite simply one of the best mainstream jazz recordings I’ve heard all year…” —THE OAKLAND TRIBUNE

CD: NEW CHOROS OF BRAZIL “One of the most beautiful Choro albums to come along in many years. Considering the the caliber of these two musicians and their respective and complimentary talents, this should come as no surprise!”  — CONNECTBRAZIL .COM (online review)

“Wainapel demonstrates that the clarinet’s smooth, subtle breathiness is perfect for this setting, perfectly balancing the two instruments’ abundant and subtle charms. The whole set traverses all the emotions that choro is capable of; it looks like the choro as a form will continue to beguile countless listeners and musicians well into the 21st century and beyond.” 


CD: AMBROSIA: THE MUSIC OF KENNY BARRON (the album) “showcases Wainapel’s genius — and penchant for adventure.” —DOWNBEAT

“consistently creative, restlessly inventive.”—JAZZTIMES

“Offers a better case for concert-hall jazz than many a Jazz at Lincoln Center affair.”—JAZZIZ

“An incredible saxophonist. If there was any justice in life, Wainapel would win a grammy for this recording.”—SAXOPHONE JOURNAL

“Wainapel proves that he is among the most imaginative, sensitive and creative saxophonists of the post-Coltrane era.”—THE SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

CD: AT HOME/ON THE ROAD “A musician with his own unique and deep sound.”—JAZZ LIFE (Japan)

“This is music that can be played again and again…a clear winner.”—CADENCE

“Dynamic, self-assured, emotionally charged modern jazz.” —TWIN CITIES READER (Minneapolis/St. Paul)

  • BUY

    Amigos Brasileiros vol 2

    Self Produced
  • BUY

    Amigos Brasileiros

    Self Produced

This information is provided by or the profile administrator.

Please Sign Up or Log In to send your inquiry.

Submit Take Five Answers. We'll publish your Take Five questions and answers as an article, feature it on the home page and link to it from your musician profile.
No videos available. Add a video now.
Rank: 5,879 Views: 4,657
Featured recording “Amigos Brasileiros”

Amigos Brasileiros

Self Produced (2007)
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Tom Chang

Tom Chang

About | Enter

Cedar Walton

Cedar Walton

About | Enter

Sheryl Bailey

Sheryl Bailey

About | Enter

Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

About | Enter

An innovative and rich resource For Jazz Musicians

The All About Jazz musician database grows daily
with the help of musicians, supportive professionals and advocates.

Musician? Plug in and promote yourself today.

Learn how