Gary Smulyan

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Gary Smulyan
Joe Temperly and Gary Smulyan.jpg
Joe Temperley and Gary Smulyan
Background information
Born (1956-04-04) April 4, 1956 (age 63)
Bethpage, New York, U.S.
Instrumentsbaritone saxophone
Years active1970s–present
LabelsCriss Cross, Reservoir
Associated actsVanguard Jazz Orchestra, Kenny Washington, Ray Drummond
Gary Smulyan
Aarhus, Denmark, 2015

Gary Smulyan (born April 4, 1956 in Bethpage, New York) is a jazz musician who plays baritone saxophone. He studied at Hofstra University before working with Woody Herman. He leads a trio with bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Kenny Washington.[1]

Smulyan has played with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and its previous incarnation, the Mel Lewis Big Band. He has played with the Dave Holland Big Band and Octet, the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band, and he has performed and recorded with Carla Bley's Big Band.

Smulyan's biggest influence is Pepper Adams. When Adams died, Smulyan recorded an album entitled Homage,[2] which featured eight pieces composed by Adams. He has recorded for Criss Cross Jazz and Reservoir Records, including the critically acclaimed High Noon: The Jazz Soul of Frankie Laine, featuring arrangements by Mark Masters.

Since 2006, Smulyan has served as artistic director at the Berkshire Hills Music Academy in South Hadley, Massachusetts. and his wife, pianist and conductor Joan Cornachio, live with their family in nearby Amherst.

Smulyan has consistently been ranked best baritone saxophone player in the annual Down Beat magazine readers' and critics' polls.


As sideman[edit]

With Benny Green

With Riccardo Fassi

  • Riccardo Fassi Feat. Gary Smulyan - L' Amico Immaginario (1994) (Sonic Studio, Rome, Italy, Recording March 6, 1994 & December 14, 1994)

With Gerald Wilson

With Michael Benedict

With Orchestra

  • Gary Smulyan with Strings (1996)
  • Stockholm Jazz Orchestra With Dick Oatts & Gary Smulyan - Homage To Mel Lewis & Thad Jones (Dragon, 2003)


  1. ^ Down Beat Artists Profile Archived 2006-11-26 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Smulyan, Gary. Homage. Criss Cross Records B0000020MS. 1991

External links[edit]

 | Jazz portal. Gary Smulyan (4.04.1956 Bethpage, New York, US) American jazz baritone saxophonist