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.
He has been a professional music arranger since 1941, when he became a staff arranger for ABC radio station WCAE in Pittsburgh at age 17. During his career, he arranged music for the Count Basie Orchestra (1967–1984), the US Air Force Band (15 yrs) and the US Marine Band (5 years) both in Washington, DC. In addition, he played the 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, CA, Westinghouse Memorial High School, and Wilmerding, PA.
During his long career in the television and film industry, he has arranged and conducted projects for artists such as Bing Crosby, Sarah Vaughan, Toni Tennille, Frank Sinatra, Phil Collins, Barbra Streisand, and Count Basie, among others. As orchestrator, he has worked on nearly seventy television programs, including Mission: Impossible, Mannix, Charlie's Angels, and The Mod Squad.
Nestico 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.
- 1982: Dark Orchid (Palo Alto Records)
- 1984: Basie Big Band
- 1986: Night Flight
- 2000: Basie and Beyond - Quincy Jones/Sammy Nestico Orchestra (Qwest Warner Records)
- 2002: This is the Moment
- 2004: A portrait of Sammy (Fenwood Music Inc Records)
- 2004: No Time Like the Present - Sammy Nestico and the SWR Big Band (SWR Music 94118)
The Sammy Nestico Award
|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||Chris Schmitz||Anchorage, Alaska|
|2006||Carl Murr||Dallas, Texas|
|2005||David Cutler||Pittsburgh, Pa|
|2004||Stephen Smith||Denton, Texas|
|2003||Aaron Lington||Denton, Texas|
|2002||Earl MacDonald||Mansfield Center, Conn.|
|2001||Curtis Stephan||Carrollton, Texas|
|2000||Jeff Antoniuk||Annapolis, Md.|
|1999||no award issued||-|
|1998||Joey Sellers||Brooklyn, N.Y.|
|1997||Lyle Durland||Provo, Utah|
|1996||William Straub||Syracuse, N.Y.|
|1996||Charles Bayne||Dallas, Texas|