Richie Cole started playing alto saxophone when he was 10 years old in his hometown of Trenton, New Jersey. His talent and dedication won him a full scholarship from Downbeat Magazine to the Berklee School of Music in Boston. Cole’s professional career began in 1969 when he joined the Buddy Rich Big Band. After stints with the Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Doc Severinsen Big Band, he formed his own quintet and toured worldwide, doing a great deal to popularize bebop and his own “Alto Madness” style in the 70’s and early 80’s.
Cole has performed and recorded with Eddie Jefferson, the Manhattan Transfer, Bobby Enriquez, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, Tom Waits, Boots Randolph, and Nancy Wilson, just to name just a few. He has performed at the Village Vanguard and Carnegie Hall, and gave a command performance for the Queen of England.
Cole has recorded over 50 albums and CDs, including his top hit album “Hollywood Madness” and a tribute album to Leonard Bernstein, “Richie Cole Plays West Side Story.” A prolific composer, he also arranges for full big bands, symphony orchestras and performances at jazz festivals worldwide.