Harvey Wainapel

“one of the most promising and versatile players of his generation.” 
­­ All Music Guide to Jazz, 1998

Saxophonist/clarinetist Harvey Wainapel (pronounced “wine-apple”) has performed with musical luminaries McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano, Joe Henderson, Ray Charles and Johnny Coles . Besides working with these and numerous other leaders, Wainapel has toured extensively on his own, and has performed in 20 countries. His heavy involvement with the music of Brazil has led to performances with such masters of the genre as Dori Caymmi, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Guinga, Jovino Santos Neto, Nelson Ayres, Laercio de Freitas and Manfredo Fest.

Wainapel’s latest CD, The Hang, received a glowing 4-star review from Down Beat magazine, and features pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Larry Grenadier, trumpeter Phil Grenadier , and drummer Kenny Wollesen. His previous release, Ambrosia : The Music of Kenny Barron, was recorded with Holland’s 60-piece Metropole Orchestra. A Jazziz Magazine review of Ambrosia says the CD “offers a better case for concert-hall jazz than many a Jazz at Lincoln Center affair.” Wainapel’s first release, At Home/On the Road, recorded live on tour in Europe, was described by Cadence as “music that can be played again and again; a clear winner.”

Saxophone master Joe Lovano says, “Wainapel plays with the performance attitude which for me is what jazz and improvisation is all about. It’s a pleasure to listen to Harvey¹s soulful interpretations.” Japan’s Jazz Life calls Wainapel “a musician with his own unique and deep sound.” A favorite of critics, musicians and fans, Wainapel was nominated for two BAMMY (Bay Area Music) Awards: Outstanding Reed Player and Outstanding Jazz Musician. (The short list of fellow nominees included Joe Henderson, Peter Apfelbaum and Charlie Hunter.)

Originally from upstate New York, Wainapel studied at Berklee College of Music for two years, during which time he recorded (and performed at Carnegie Hall) with vibist Gary Burton . Following a two-month tour of Tunisia, Wainapel settled in Europe for five years, including one year with the German Radio Big Band in Frankfurt . Soon after returning to New York, Wainapel was hired by singer Ray Charles for a ten-month world tour, and then moved to San Francisco. 

Wainapel has been a key contributor to the Bay Area jazz scene for over 18 years, as well as maintaining an ongoing international impact.  Although his main activity is performing, Wainapel has generously shared the experience gained in a career spanning nearly thirty years; for more than a decade, he has been on the Jazz faculty at Sonoma State University and the Stanford Jazz Workshop, as well as giving workshops around the world.

His current project is a collaboration with guitarist Carlos Oliveira , whose CD Brasil Nordeste is due to be released this year.  The two performed together with percussionist Claudio Bebianno, in San Francisco, October 2000, opening for the Quarteto Jobim-Morelenbaum.

Visit Harvey’s website: www.jazzwest.com/harvey

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