Artists Page

Walt Weiskopf

Saxophonist, composer and author Walt Weiskopf has made an impressive mark as both a leader and sideman with over a dozen critically acclaimed albums and countless sideman credits. A dynamic player with enormous technical prowess, Weiskopf is equally well-regarded as a composer, with albums containing predominantly original work.

Weiskopf's latest record, The Way You Say It (Posi-Tone 2016), continues to show his evolution as a composer, bandleader, and saxophonist. This quartet date is his third for Posi-Tone and is amazingly supported by organist Brian Charette, vibist Behn Gillece, and drummer Steve Fidyk. It successfully combines Weiskopf's high-powered harmonic message and stunning lyricism into an amazing performance, worthy of acclaim.

Weiskopf was born in Augusta, Georgia and grew up outside Syracuse, New York. He took up his first instrument, the clarinet, at age 10 and began his saxophone studies four years later. After graduating from Rochester's Eastman School of Music in three years, he moved to New York City in 1980. He began his professional career performing with the Buddy Rich Big Band in 1981 at the age of 21.

In 1983, Weiskopf began a fourteen-year association with jazz pianist and arranger Toshiko Akiyoshi, making seven recordings and touring the USA, Japan and Europe several times with her orchestra. During this time, he began recording his own material. Under the tutelage of clarinetist Leon Russianoff in 1988-89, Weiskopf earned a Master of Arts in clarinet performance from Queens College of the City University of New York. He has performed with a number of notable classical orchestras.

In 1993, Weiskopf began releasing leader records that were all met with immediate positive journalistic acclaim and radio success. Weiskopf has continued his production since then and has fifteen albums to his credit. Also in this time Weiskopf performed as a sideman for many notables like Frank Sinatra, Donald Fagen and Steve Smith's Jazz Legacy. Weiskopf's long-running and current sideman gig is with Steely Dan.

Weiskopf is also among the most respected authors in the field, and has penned six books on advanced topics in improvisation. His first two books are Coltrane: A Player's Guide To His Harmony and The Augmented Scale in Jazz (both co-authored with Ramon Ricker). In 1994, Weiskopf completed Intervalic Improvisation. Weiskopf's fourth book, Around The Horn, was released in 2001 and the sequel, Beyond The Horn (co-authored with Ed RosenBerg) in 2010. His sixth and latest book is Understanding The Diminished Scale (2012). Weiskopf was a visiting Associate Professor part-time at the Eastman School of Music from 2001 to 2008 and currently teaches at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

Releases - click HERE for album reviews

The Way You Say It

Open Road


Releases - as a sideman


Press Quotes

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