Andy McGhee

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Andy McGhee
Birth name Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S.
Born (1927-11-03)November 3, 1927
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, teacher
Instruments Saxophone
Years active 1950s–present
Associated acts Lionel Hampton

Andy McGhee (born November 3, 1927, Wilmington, North Carolina) is a tenor saxophonist and educator.

Andy McGhee graduated from New England Conservatory in 1949 and worked for a short time with trumpeter Roy Eldridge and local Boston musician Fat Man Robinson. After marrying in 1950, McGhee served in the Army in Korea and at Fort Dix, New Jersey where he played in an Army band and gave lessons to other musicians. From 1957–1963 McGhee worked in Lionel Hampton's band, touring the United States, Europe, and the Far East. His composition, McGhee, can be found on the recording, The Many Sides of Lionel Hampton. McGhee worked with Woody Herman from 1963 to 1966.[1]

McGhee joined the faculty of Berklee College of Music in 1966. Among McGhee's students are noted saxophonists Bill Pierce, Javon Jackson, Donald Harrison, Antonio Hart, Sam Newsome, Richie Cole, Greg Osby, and Ralph Moore. While devoting his time to teaching, McGhee wrote the instruction books Improvisation for Saxophone and Flute: The Scale/Mode Approach and Modal Strategies for Saxophone.

On March 15, 1978, McGhee performed with Lionel Hampton and the Lionel Hampton Alumni Band as part of The Boston Globe Jazz Festival. The band included Bob Wilber, clarinet, Ernie Wilkins, saxophones, Teddy Wilson, piano, Alan Dawson and Terri Lynne Carrington, drums and Hampton on vibraphone. The performance marked the 50th anniversary of the start of Lionel Hampton's career as a professional musician.[2]

In the early 1990s, McGhee toured with Lionel Hampton as member of the Golden Men of Jazz tour. The band featured Harry "Sweets" Edison, Clark Terry, Benny Bailey, Al Grey, and Benny Golson. The Golden Men of Jazz played concerts throughout Europe and on returning to the United States played for President George H. W. Bush in Washington, D.C.[3]

In May 2006, McGhee was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. [4]


As leader

  • Could it Be (1993)

As sideman

  • Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra, The Many Sides of Lionel Hampton (Glad Hamp, 1961)
  • Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra, The Many Sides of Hamp, Vol. 2 (Ember, UK, 1963)
  • Phil Wilson, Getting It Altogether (Outrageous, 1978)
  • Woody Herman "Jazz Hoot / Woody's Winners"


  1. ^ Barry Kernfeld, ed. (1988). "Andy McGhee". The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. New York, New York: St. Martin's Press. 
  2. ^ Nathan, Norm (March 16, 1978). "Heaven with Hampton". The Boston Globe. p. 31. 
  3. ^ Hennessey, Mike (November 28, 1992). "Despite its Limited Size, German Jazz Market Catered to By An Abundance of Labels, Venues and Events". Billboard: pg. 60. Two of the major attractions of the GKP program this fall are ... Lionel Hampton and his Golden Men of Jazz, with Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Harry Edison, Junior Mance, Al Grey, Andy McGhee, and Bobby Durham. 
  4. ^