Celebrated jazz saxophonist and composer Richie Cole is a Trenton native.
Encouraged by his father, who owned a jazz club in New Jersey, Cole started playing alto saxophone when he was 10 years old. Inspired by bebop trailblazers Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker, Cole decided to pursue his passion for jazz at the Berklee School of Music, which he attended on a full scholarship from Downbeat Magazine. In 1969, he joined the Buddy Rich Big Band, followed by stints with the Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Doc Severinsen Big Band. In the next two decades, Cole helped popularize bebop and his signature “Alto Madness” style—turning any tune, no matter its origin, into lively bop.
With over 50 albums to his name, Cole has performed and recorded with acclaimed musicians Eddie Jefferson, the Manhattan Transfer, Art Pepper, Tom Waits and many more. In addition to performances at the Village Vanguard and Carnegie Hall, he once gave a Royal Command Performance for the Queen of England.
The Danny Petroni Blue Project