Jack Nimitz

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Jack Nimitz
Birth nameJerome Nimitz
Born(1930-01-11)January 11, 1930
Washington, D.C.
Died(2009-06-10)June 10, 2009
Los Angeles, California
InstrumentsBaritone saxophone

Jack Nimitz (January 11, 1930 – June 10, 2009) was an American jazz baritone saxophonist. He was nicknamed "The Admiral."[1]

He played in a variety of genres including jazz and rock. He appeared on many jazz albums as sideman and rock albums as session musician, including The Beach Boys singles "Sloop John B", "Please Let Me Wonder, and "The Girl from New York City".


Nimitz was born in Washington, D.C., and began playing clarinet at the age of twelve. Two years later, he started playing alto saxophone and worked in local bands. He switched to baritone sax and found work in the territory bands of Willis Conover, Johnny Bothwell, Bob Astor, and Daryl Harpa. During the 1950s, he spent two years with the Woody Herman band and worked intermittently for Stan Kenton. He had steady work as a member of the house band at the Savoy.[2]

Nimitz moved to Los Angeles and became a studio musician. He played with Bill Berry, Benny Carter, Bill Perkins, Bud Shank, Frank Strazzeri, Gerald Wilson, Supersax, and the Lighthouse All-Stars. He released his first album as a leader in 1995 for Fresh Sound when he was sixty-five.[2] He recorded with vocalists Johnny Hartman, June Christy, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae, Anita O'Day, and Diane Schuur.

The Jack Nimitz Quintet played their final performance on May 10, 2009, in Northridge, California. Nimitz died in Los Angeles at the age of 79 from complications due to emphysema.[3]


As leader[edit]

  • Confirmation (Fresh Sound, 1995)
  • Live at Capozzoli's (Woofy Productions, 1997)

As sideman[edit]

With Gene Ammons

With Kenny Burrell

With Nat King Cole

With Clare Fischer

With Gil Fuller

With Woody Herman

  • Songs for Hip Lovers (Verve, 1957)

With Stan Kenton

With Steuart Liebig

  • No Train (Cadence, 1997)
  • Antipodes (Cadence, 2000)

With Herbie Mann

With Shelly Manne

With Les McCann

With Carmen McRae

With Oliver Nelson

With Bill Perkins

  • Our Man Woody (Jazz Mark, 1991)

With Bud Shank

  • New Gold! (Candid, 1993)

With Lalo Schifrin

With Bud Shank

With Gerald Wilson


  1. ^ Lawrence Koch & Barry Kernfeld. "Nimitz, Jack". In Deane L. Root. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Jack Nimitz". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  3. ^ Ricci, Michael (16 June 2009). "Jack Nimitz Baritone Sax Player Dies". All About Jazz. Retrieved 28 November 2017.