Sammy Nestico

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Sammy Nestico
Sammy Nestico.jpg
Background information
Birth name Samuel Louis Nistico
Born (1924-02-06) February 6, 1924 (age 93)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Composer, arranger
Associated acts Count Basie

Sammy Nestico (born Samuel Louis Nistico, February 6, 1924 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a composer and arranger of big band music. Nestico is best known for his arrangements for the Count Basie orchestra.[1]

Biography[edit]

Sammy Nestico has been a professional music arranger since 1941, when he became a staff arranger at age 17 for ABC radio station WCAE in Pittsburgh. During his career, he arranged music for the Count Basie Orchestra (1967–1984), the U.S. Air Force Band (fifteen years) and the U.S. Marine Band (five years) both in Washington, D.C. In addition, he played trombone in the big bands of Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Gene Krupa, and Charlie Barnet.

In 1998–1999 Nestico was a professor at the University of Georgia, teaching commercial orchestration and conducting the studio orchestra. He also directed music programs at Los Angeles Pierce College, Woodland Hills, California, Westinghouse Memorial High School, and Wilmerding, Pennsylvania.

During his long career in the television and film industry, he arranged and conducted projects for Bing Crosby, Sarah Vaughan, Toni Tennille, Frank Sinatra, Phil Collins, Barbra Streisand, and Count Basie. As orchestrator, he has worked on nearly seventy television programs, including Mission: Impossible, Mannix, Charlie's Angels, and The Mod Squad.

He has written commercial jingles for Anheuser-Busch, Zenith, Ford Motor Company, Mattel Toys, Pittsburgh Paints, the National Guard, Dodge, Remington Bank, and Americard.

He has published nearly 600 numbers for school groups and many for professional big bands. He has conducted and recorded his arrangements with several leading European Radio Jazz Orchestras, including the BBC Big Band in London, Germany's SWR Big Band and NDR Big Band and the DR Big Band.

Nestico received a Bachelor's degree in music education from Duquesne University in 1950, and he has received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from his alma mater.

Discography[edit]

  • 1982 Dark Orchid (Palo Alto)
  • 1986 Night Flight (Sea Breeze)
  • 1998 Big Band Favorites of Sammy Nestico (Summit)
  • 2000 Sammy Nestico – For You to Play (Jamey Aebersold)
  • 2005 No Time Like the Present (Hänssler)
  • 2005 Basie Cally Sammy: The Music of Count Basie and Sammy Nestico (Hänssler)
  • 2009 Sammy Nesticol, Vol. 3: Fun Time (Hänssler)
  • 2011 Fun Time & More Live (Hänssler)[2]

As arranger[edit]

With Count Basie

With Frank Sinatra

With Sarah Vaughan

The Sammy Nestico Award[edit]

The Airmen of Note, the premier jazz ensemble of the USAF, sponsor an annual competition[3] for composers and arrangers of big band music, in honor of Sammy Nestico. Previous winners are:

Year Award Recipient Place of Residence
2014 William Longo II Miramar, FL
2011 Scott Nimmer Taylorville, IL
2010 Jeremy Levy Hannibal, MO
2009 Sara Jacovino Middlebury, CT
2008 Michael Dease Augusta, GA
2007 Christopher Schmitz Anchorage, AK
2006 Carl Murr Dallas, TX
2005 David Cutler Pittsburgh, PA
2004 Stephen Smith Denton, TX
2003 Aaron Lington Denton, TX
2002 Earl MacDonald Mansfield Center, CT
2001 Curtis Stephan Carrollton, TX
2000 Jeff Antoniuk Annapolis, MD
1999 no award issued -
1998 Joey Sellers Brooklyn, NY
1997 Lyle Durland Provo, UT
1996 William Straub Syracuse, NY
1996 Charles Bayne Dallas, TX

References[edit]

External links[edit]