Richie Kamuca

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Richie Kamuca
Richie Kamuca.jpg
Background information
Born(1930-07-23)July 23, 1930
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedJuly 22, 1977(1977-07-22) (aged 46)
Los Angeles, California
GenresJazz, West Coast jazz
InstrumentsTenor saxophone
Years active1950s—1970s
LabelsAtlantic, Impulse!, Contemporary
Associated actsBill Perkins, Art Pepper, Bill Holman, Conte Candoli, Shelly Manne

Richie Kamuca (July 23, 1930–July 22, 1977), was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.

Musical career[edit]

Kamuca was born in Philadelphia, and, like many players associated with West Coast jazz, grew up in the East before moving West around the time that bebop changed the prevailing style of jazz. His early playing, in what is generally considered the Lester Young style, was done on tour with the big bands of Stan Kenton and Woody Herman, where he became a member of the later line-ups of Herman's Four Brothers saxophone section with Al Cohn and Bill Perkins.[1]

Kamuca stayed on the West Coast, playing with the smaller groups of Chet Baker, Maynard Ferguson, Shorty Rogers, and others. He was one of the Lighthouse All-Stars in 1957 and 1958, and recorded with Perkins, Art Pepper, Jimmy Rowles, Cy Touff and many others in those years, as well as leading recording sessions in his own right.

Kamuca was a member of the group Shelly Manne and His Men from 1959 through 1962, when he returned East and settled in New York. Here he worked with Gerry Mulligan, Gary McFarland, and Roy Eldridge before returning to the West Coast in 1972, where he recorded in the studios and performed with local groups.

Less well known to the general public than saxophonists, like Stan Getz, who played in a similar Lester Young-derived style, Kamuca died of cancer, in Los Angeles, just before his 47th birthday.[2]

Selected discography[edit]

With Manny Albam

  • The Jazz Greats of Our Time, Vol. 2 (Coral 1957)

With Chet Baker and Bud Shank

With Chet Baker and Art Pepper

With Herb Ellis and Jimmy Giuffre

With Terry Gibbs

  • The Exciting Terry Gibbs Big Band – reissued as Dream Band, Vol. 4: Main Stem
  • Explosion! (Verve 1961, Contemporary 1987 as Dream Band vol 5)

With Woody Herman

  • Big New Herd At The Monterey Jazz Festival (Atlantic 1959)

With Stan Kenton

With Gary McFarland

With Herbie Mann

With Shelly Manne

With the Modern Jazz Quartet

With Anita O'Day

With Shorty Rogers

With Frank Rosolino

  • Frank Rosolino Quintet (Mode 1957)



  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Richie Kamuca Biography by Scott Yanow". Allmusic. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Richie Kamuca - tenor saxophone - (1930 - 1977)". All About Jazz. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Richie Kamuca Discography". Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Richie Kamuca (1930–1977)". Retrieved 1 April 2016.