Ted Nash (saxophonist, born 1960)

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Ted Nash
Sherman Irby, Ted Nash, and Victor Goines, Lyon, France, 2016
Sherman Irby, Ted Nash, and Victor Goines, Lyon, France, 2016
Background information
Born (1960-12-28) December 28, 1960 (age 61)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger, bandleader
Instrument(s)Saxophone, multireedist
Years active1970s–present
LabelsConcord Jazz, Mapleshade, Elabeth, Arabesque, Palmetto, Motéma

Ted Nash (born December 28, 1960) is an American jazz saxophonist, flutist and composer. Born into a musical family, his uncle was saxophonist Ted Nash and his father is trombonist Dick Nash, both prominent jazz soloists and first call Hollywood studio musicians.[1][2][3] Nash is a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra directed by Wynton Marsalis. He is one of the founders of the Jazz Composers Collective.[4]

Music career[edit]

Nash grew up in Los Angeles. His father is trombonist Dick Nash and his uncle was saxophonist Ted Nash. Both were big band veterans, jazz soloists and session musicians who worked regularly with Henry Mancini and Les Brown. The younger Nash began his career on piano when he was seven, clarinet when he was 12, and alto saxophone at 13. When he was 16, he played for one week with Lionel Hampton and the following year was playing saxophone with Quincy Jones, Louis Bellson, and Don Ellis. When he was 18, he moved to New York City and became a member of the Gerry Mulligan Big Band. During the same year, he released his debut album, Conception (Concord Jazz, 1978).[3]

In the 1980s, he worked with vibraphonist Charlie Shoemake, who had been one of his teachers. He was a member of the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, for whom he played saxophone and wrote arrangements. In 1990s, he performed and recorded as sideman with Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano, and Ben Allison. After Allison's invitation, he joined the Herbie Nichols Project, a band which played the music of pianist Nichols.[3]

Nash has been a composer, arranger, producer, conductor, and writer of liner notes. As a performer, he is a multireedist who has recorded on soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, and piccolo.[5]


Portrait in Seven Shades is a seven-movement suite dedicated to seven modern painters: Claude Monet, Salvador Dalí, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Marc Chagall, and Jackson Pollock.[6] The album was nominated for a Grammy Award.[7]

Nash's album Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom (Motéma, 2016) consists of Nash's compositions interwoven with historic political speeches by Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Aung San Suu Kyi. The speeches are read by Sam Waterston, Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lieberman, and Glenn Close.[8] In 2017, Presidential Suite won the Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra

  • Live in Swing City – Swingin' with Duke (Columbia, 1999)
  • A Love Supreme (Palmetto, 2005)
  • Don't Be Afraid...The Music of Charles Mingus (Palmetto, 2005)
  • Portrait in Seven Shades (Jazz at Lincoln Center, 2010)[9]
  • Vitoria Suite (2010)

With Wynton Marsalis

  • 1996 Jump Start and Jazz
  • 1999 Big Train
  • 2011 Selections from Swingin' into the 21st

With Louie Bellson

  • 1978 Raincheck
  • 1978 Sunshine Rock
  • 1982 The London Gig
  • 1992 Peaceful Thunder
  • 1994 Black Brown & Beige
  • 1994 Cool Cool Blue
  • 1994 Live from New York

With Ben Allison

  • 1996 Seven Arrows
  • 1998 Medicine Wheel
  • 1999 Third Eye
  • 2001 Riding the Nuclear Tiger
  • 2016 Quiet Revolution[10]

With The Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra

  • 1988 The Definitive Thad Jones: Live from the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1
  • 1988 The Definitive Thad Jones: Live from the Village Vanguard, Vol. 2

With The Herbie Nichols Project

  • 1997 Love Is Proximity
  • 2001 Strange City

With Wycliffe Gordon

  • 2000 The Search
  • 2006 Standards Only

With Don Ellis

With Jimmy Heath

With Freddie Hubbard

With others


  1. ^ Liner notes to The Brothers Nash, Liberty Records LJH 6022
  2. ^ "Ted Nash Biography". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
  3. ^ a b c Henderson, Alex. "Ted Nash". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  4. ^ Adler, David. "Jazz Composers Collective". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Ted Nash | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  6. ^ Ackermann, Karl (25 August 2016). "Ted Nash Big Band: Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)". All About Jazz. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Grammy Award-Nominated Composer and Arranger To Premiere Two Compositions at Scranton | Royal News: November 26, 2019". news.scranton.edu.
  8. ^ Auerbach, Brad (21 October 2016). "Digital Tip Jar: Jazz Maestro Ted Nash Opines on Spotify and Presidential Discourse". Forbes. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Grammy award-winning Jazz saxophonist improvises to famous paintings". KCRW.
  10. ^ Johnson, Martin (5 November 2018). "'Quiet Revolution' by Ben Allison Review: Blast From the Past". Wall Street Journal.