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Jerry Bergonzi

Born: October 21, 1947    Primary Instrument: Saxophone

Jerry Bergonzi

Tenor saxophonist, Jerry Bergonzi, is an internationally recognized jazz performer, composer, author and educator. His music is renowned for its innovation, mastery, and integrity. Relentless drive, inner fire, total command, awesome technique, elastic lyricism, rich resonance, world-class, a musical visionary, are among the rave reviews credited to his sound. Bergonzi's music has been applauded throughout the world at festivals, concert halls, and jazz venues and his dedication to jazz music has been well documented by an extensive discography.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bergonzi became interested in music early on. He started playing clarinet when he was eight years old listening to Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Lester Young. His uncle, who was a jazz musician and lived upstairs, used to write out solos for him to play. At twelve years old he got his first saxophone, an old Conn alto, and a year later when a friend introduced him to Miles, Coltrane, and Sonny Rollins, there was no turning back! At thirteen, Jerry was already playing gigs with a band called The Stardusters. During his high school years he switched to tenor, and in addition to weekly sessions with Berklee College students, Jerry also played in John LaPorta's youth band. He recalls, “It was a great experience, I learned so much, John would tell you like it was. He'd let you know what your shortcomings were, he would stop the band to tell you! “Bergonzi attended Lowell University but left after one year because he was continually being thrown out of the practice rooms for playing jazz. “If I had heard me practicing in one of those cubicles I might have thrown myself out!” he adds. He and fellow student, Charlie Banacos, used to begin their day in the practice rooms at 6:00 am. After a year at Berklee College, he returned to Lowell for financial reasons and graduated in 1971. He then played bass in local bands behind singers, strippers, and comedians, saving up enough money to move to New York City in 1972....
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2008: Tenor Talk, Savant
2007: Tenorist, Savant
2006: Tenor of the Times, Savant
2004: Live GONZ! II, Double-Time
2003: Live GONZ!, Double-Time
2003: Dreaming Out Lou, Whaling City Records
2001: The Line Between, Whaling City Records
2001: A Different Look, Double-Time
2000: Wiggy, Double-Time
1998: Fast Company, Blue Jackel
1998: On Again, RAM
1998: Together Again for the First Time, Red
1998: Lost in the Shuffle, Double-Time
1996: Just Within, Double-Time
1995: Vertical Reality, Musidisc
1992: Peek a Boo, Evidence
1991: Tilt, Red
1991: ETC Plus One, Red
1989: Lineage, Red
1989: Inside Out, Red
1989: Standard Gonz, Blue Note
1988: Caught in the Act!, Not Fat
1988: On Red, Red
1986: Uranian Undertow, Plug
1984: Featuring Bruce Gertz, Not Fat
1982: Con Brio, Plug

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