UPCOMING: KC Jazz Club: Frank Wess Tribute

Members of Frank’s last band will be playing a tribute concert in the jazz club of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on January 30th. Don’t miss it if you’re in the area! Scott Robinson – saxophone Terell Stafford – trumpet Ilya Lushtak – guitar Michael Weiss – piano Noriko Ueda – bass Winard Harper […]

Talking about Frank Wess – NDR

Wingolf Grieger did a two-part feature about Frank on North German Radio. Have a listen – in german… 🙂 Part 1   Part 2

Inurnment Of Franks Ashes At Saint Peter’s Church

Dear Jazz Community: Frank Wess is a lucky man! As I found out about the Columbarium at St. Peter’s Church through Ms. Lynne Mueller, Ms. Narita was calling me to honor Frank’s contribution to jazz with a fund which was almost the same amount as the fee for the Columbarium! I immediately understood that this […]


JazzTimes: Frank Wess, Saxophonist and Flutist, Dies at 91 (10/30/13) Los Angeles Times: Frank Wess dies at 91; key player in major jazz ensembles (11/1/13) The New York Times: Frank Wess, 91, Saxophonist and Flutist With the Basie Band, Dies (11/3/13) The Washington Post: Frank Wess, jazz saxophonist with the Count Basie Orchestra, dies at […]

Letter from Philippe Chagne

As you perhaps know, I left for New York urgently a week ago to see Frank. His wife Sara let me know not to delay. Last Sunday I went to see Frank with a sense of dread. My dear Frank was but the shadow of himself, very weak and thin. He spoke little. I gave […]

Magic 201

Frank Wess – tenor saxophone, flute Kenny Barron – piano Russell Malone – guitar Rufus Reid – bass Winard Harper – drums For those who are hung up on the notion that “they don’t make ‘em like they used to”, Frank Wess’ latest IPO Recordings CD, Magic 201 offers a loudly contradictory “Yes we do!” […]

Frank passed away

On October 30th Frank passed away at the age of 91. He left a great legacy to the world of jazz. He touched so many people and made wonderful friends all over the world. A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held at Saint Peter’s Church NYC on January 4th 2014 at 6:30 pm. Gratefully, […]

Magic 101

Frank Wess – tenor saxophone, flute Kenny Barron – piano Kenny Davis – bass Winard Harper – drums   By its very nature, great Jazz cannot be perfect. The essential components of improvisation, spontaneity, abandon, adventurousness, innovation and urgency produce a sense of excitement where you never know what might occur, and can provoke you […]

Frank Wess – Honoree at All Nite Soul – Saint Peter’s Church

The Jazz Ministry at Saint Peter’s Church announces Frank Wess Honoree at All Night Soul 2010 Sunday, October 10 Saint Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington (at 54th Street), New York City On this the 40th anniversary of All Nite Soul, the Jazz Ministry of Saint Peter’s Church – the Jazz Church – is thrilled to honor […]

Frank at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival

With Frank Wess, the day’s headliner, the strictly-jazz crowd was on firm ground. Mr. Wess, at 87, remains a reliable messenger from another time: his shapely, easy-swinging saxophone solos in medium tempo were models of cool vernacular art. The notes went by softly, but the grammar and style of the solos were hard-boiled 1940s and […]

Frank accepts Flutist of the Year Award from writer Elzy Kolb of Hot House magazine

Frank Wess accepts the Flutist of the Year Award from writer Elzy Kolb of Hot House magazine during the Jazz Journalists Association’s 2009 Jazz Awards at the Jazz Standard (NYC) on June 16, 2009. Wess has performed and recorded recently with pianist Hank Jones, and with a nonet; besides playing tenor saxophone with the Count […]

All About Jazz: Once Is Not Enough

All About Jazz: Once Is Not Enough By Edward Bianco Frank Wess Nonet | Labeth Music (2009) Known affectionately as “Magic” to his professional colleagues, saxophonist/flautist Frank Wess is a living legend in the jazz world. His résumé includes stints with Billy Eckstine, the Clark Terry Big Band and a decade performing with the Count […]

Zan Stewart/The Star-Ledger: Frank Wess, 87, is master of many jazz styles

Frank Wess, 87, is master of many jazz styles by Zan Stewart/The Star-Ledger Wednesday May 13, 2009, 2:25 PM JOHN MUNSON/THE STAR-LEDGER Frank Wess leads the Frank Wess Nonet at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City Tuesday. Frank Wess’ Celebration Nonet. When: Tonight through Sunday, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Where: Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazz […]

Once Is Not Enough

News: Frank just released his new CD “Once Is Not Enough!” “Once is not Enough”, Frank Wess’ newest release is capturing his optimism and romanticism very well. All the nonet pieces are full of light-hearted energy which reminds listener of Frank’s long career with the Basie Band. Another Basie alumni, Mr. Dennis Mackrel’s arrangements of […]

JazzWax about the Commodore Sessions

Frank Wess: Commodore Sessions by Marc Myers, JazzWax Virtually everything recorded by tenor saxophonist Frank Wess is worth hearing—and that’s saying something. Best known for his rock-solid playing along side Frank Foster in Count Basie’s band from 1953 to 1964, Wess’ solos always sound tough and tender, which is what makes them so compelling. Wess […]

Letter from Frank

Dearest Friends and Colleagues: With all your LOVE, ENCOURAGEMENT and SUPPORT, Frank Wess is enjoying his eighty-sixth year still playing saxophone and flute as always. After battling through some health crises, Frank now seems to be doing extremely well, both mentally and physically, evident by his latest musical antics. Last January, Frank received the prestigious […]

The Inverness Courier: Legendary sax player was pursued by Count Basie

Legendary sax player was pursued by Count Basie By Kenny Mathieson, The Inverness Courier Published: 07 August, 2007 SAXOPHONIST Frank Wess has made his mark on jazz in a variety of ways. He was a key figure in the great Count Basie bands of the 1950s, and was instrumental in establishing the flute in jazz. […]

Frank Wess named “National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master”

Multi-instrumentalist Frank Wess is being honored as one of the most influential and innovative flutists in jazz history. NEA’s press release: Seven Living Legends Of American Music Are Named As New National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters October 6, 2006 at 9:00 PM EDT Standing before an audience of jazz fans at Washington’s Lincoln […]

Melody Maker, April 20, 1957

Frank Wess leads the flute revival – by Frank Dixon “Every time I look around I see a new jazz flute player,” says Frank Wess, who was in at the start of the jazz flute revival. We were in the artists’ bar at Belle Vue, Manchester. Frank was relaxing between the two Basie sessions of […]

Frank Wess to be honored at Juilliard Jazz’s Tribute to Jazz Legends on Tuesday, Febr 27, 2007 at 8 PM in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Juilliard


AAJ: “Frank Wess Wisdom”

Another great article from Scott H. Thompson (All About Jazz) One of the first major jazz flutists, Frank Wess has also been a top Lester Young-influenced tenorman, an expert first altoist, and an occasional composer/arranger—certainly a valuable man to have around. Early on he toured with Blanche Calloway, served in the military, and had stints […]

AAJ: “Frank Wess: The Message of Swing”

Riel Lazarus of All About Jazz did a great article on Frank last year. We now got permission to reprint it here. THANKS A LOT!!! The genetic makeup of sax and flute legend Frank Wess is pure jazz. What else could explain over 60 years on the bandstand, dozens of cities seen and conquered, the […]