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Jerry Bergonzi

Jerry Bergonzi

The jazz scene has been deluged with hype of late, and that is certainly not all bad. But while a healthy number of stars have prospered, it has been all too easy to overlook the rank-and-file jazz players. These are the musicians who, in the words of saxophonist James Carter, are “really doing all the cultivating of the music, taking it to that next step.”

Tenor and soprano saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi is one such musician. Active on the New York scene for five years in the mid-’70s, he now resides with his family southwest of Boston, in Medfield, Mass. He works frequently in Europe and increasingly in Asia. “I don’t have a manager. I don’t have an agent,” he states. “People call me up, and in the midst of doing everything else I’m doing, having a wife and two kids, and trying to teach a little bit and make a week’s pay…I’ve got to wear a lot of hats, you know?”

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