One of the best-selling and successful jazz musicians in Rhode Island music history
Greg Abate began his musical education studying clarinet and alto sax in the Woonsocket Public Schools system and then enrolled at the Berklee College of Music. His primary influences were the modern jazz stylist Paul Desmond and be-bop innovator Charlie Parker. Upon graduating, he played lead alto with the legendary Ray Charles for two years in the mid-1970s then returned to Rhode Island to launch his own career.
He formed the fusion band Channel One and released his first album, Without Boundaries, in 1981. After spending two years with the Artie Shaw Orchestra in the mid-1980s, he embarked on a solo career showcasing his unique, hard post-bop style which has brought him worldwide acclaim. He was dubbed “The Prince of Be-Bop” by jazz impressario John Chan and has released nearly two dozen albums as a leader.
His 2002 album Evolution and his 2014 release Motif both placed high on jazz charts around the globe and Mike Joyce of The Washington Post wrote that “Greg Abate is considered by jazz writers and aficionados to be one of the most exciting saxophone players out there today.” He has collaborated and/or recorded with dozens of the all-time greats including Phil Woods, Richie Cole, Jerome Richardson, Kenny Barron and Claudio Roditi.
He is an adjunct professor of Jazz Studies at Rhode Island College and conducts workshops and master classes throughout the United States and Europe. He continues to tour internationally and is currently recording for Whaling City Sound. His latest release is Kindred Spirits, a collaboration with Phil Woods recorded live at Chan’s in Greg’s hometown of Woonsocket.