The name Phil Woods evokes in most jazz fans the image of a sizzling hot tone and an intensely driving rhythmic pulse, as well as improvisations that grab listeners and never release. He's an alto saxophone player (and clarinetist) whose lineage is clearly rooted in Charlie Parker, Benny Carter and Johnny Hodges. Born in 1931 in Massachusetts, Woods began saxophone lessons at age 12. After graduating from high school at age 16, Woods moved to New York City to study at the Manhattan School of Music and then the Juilliard School. He worked with his own groups in the 1950's and ‘60s, often with altoist Gene Quill, also playing with Quincy Jones and Dizzy Gillespie. At the time he also performed and recorded with Clark Terry, Bill Evans, Michel Legrand, Oliver Nelson, Charlie Barnet and Thelonious Monk. After a five-year stay in Europe that began in 1968, Woods returned to the United States, eventually settling in the Pocono Mountains. Early in 1974, the legendary musician formed the Phil Woods Quartet (currently Quintet). After more than 20 years together, Steve Gilmore and Bill Goodwin, original members of the very first group, are still performing together. An elder statesman of jazz, Woods has four Grammy Awards along with seven nominations to his credit as well as the Jazz Journalist Association's 2005 also saxophonist of the year honors. Additionally, he was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in 1994. Woods's performances are still providing inspiration to musicians all over the world.
Other Brass & Woodwind Artists
Born in Sapporo, Japan, Shigenori Kudo began learning the flute under Nobuhiro Sasaki at age 10 and was a student of Souichi Minegishi at the Toho Gakuen School of Music. Kudo later studied under Jean-Pierre Rampal at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, where he completed his degree with the First Prize in 1979.
Jean-Yves Fourmeau is a first-class classical saxophone artist. He has been the professor at Cergy-Pontoise Conservatory. He used to be the professor at Indiana University in the USA from 2000 to 2001.
Nobuya Sugawa is an internationally acclaimed saxophonist whom Japan is very much proud of. He has assumed a role of the concert master of Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra for almost 22 years from 1989 through 2010. Currently along with the activities as a soloist, he performs as a member of Trouvère Quartet. He also serves as the resident conductor of Yamaha Symphonic Band, and is a visiting professor of Tokyo University of Arts.