Walt Weiskopf Biography

1959, Augusta, Georgia, USA. Raised in upstate New York where he attended the Eastman School of Music, Weiskopf played alto saxophone in his teens but when he joined Buddy Rich’s big band early in the 80s it was on tenor. He then went into another big band, this one led by Toshiko Akiyoshi, and also performed with his own small groups. He was also busy writing original material and his early albums used this almost exclusively. Among these recordings was Simplicity, which charted in Europe. In the 90s, Weiskopf continued to tour and record with his own bands and also as a sideman with other leaders. Among the musicians with who he played early in his recording career were his pianist brother, Joel Weiskopf (b. 1962, Syracuse, New York, USA), Conrad Herwig, Billy Drummond, the last two appearing on late 90s sessions, as did Jim Snidero and Renée Rosnes.

A thoughtful improviser and a technically fluent player, at the start of the new century Weiskopf was well positioned to develop still further his intertwined careers as saxophonist and composer. In addition to performing and composing, Weiskopf has also written books on music, alone and in collaboration with fellow Eastman alumni Ramon Ricker.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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