John Nugent

Featuring Jonathan Gee Trio

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Last Show: Thursday 6 th September 2018

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Jazz Saxophonist/Producer/Festival Director John Nugent was born in Newfoundland, Canada in 1963. Nugent has performed with a plethora of well-known musicians and entertainers including Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Buddy DeFranco, Clark Terry, Mel Lewis, Jim Hall, Randy Brecker, David Liebman, Joe Lovano and many others. Tonight he is joined by one of the UK's top pianists, Jonathan Gee, and his trio.

As the Director of the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Nugent is a hugely influential figure off the stage, as well as an impressive player onstage. His support for the 'Made in the UK' series at the festival has given opportunities to hundreds of British musicians - from Liane Carroll and Zara McFarlane to Beats & Pieces Big Band, Stan Tracey and Binker & Moses - to perform in the United States. 

As a young boy he watched his grandfather import and sell musical instruments at his family’s hundred-year old business. Sir Charles Hutton & Sons Music in Newfoundland, Canada.

Nugent graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in 1982 with a diploma in Jazz Studies. From there he attended the Banff School of Fine Arts in the summer of 1983, and then embarked on a four-year stint at North Texas State University. As a member of the famed One O’clock Lab Band, he recorded five albums and toured Australia, Europe and the US.

From there he became a member of the famous Woody Herman Orchestra and toured internationally with them for two years. He subsequently booked 11 tours for the Herman Orchestra throughout Europe, tour managed and also performed with the orchestra at the same time.

In 1990, Nugent astounded the Canadian jazz scene with the independent release of his recording debut ‘Did I Tell You.’ That album resulted in critics comparing him favorably to tenor giant Sonny Rollins. Unlike Rollins or any other aspiring jazz saxophonist before him, Nugent plays all four members of the saxophone family (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone).

Since 1993 he has released 6 recordings as a leader including ‘Rhymicity’, ‘West of Flatbush’, ‘Taurus People’, Live at the Blue Note with Randy Brecker and a 10th Anniversary DVD featuring ‘Nugent with Strings’ Live at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre as part of XRIJF 2011.

He has produced more than forty international concerts for numerous small groups including the Brecker Brothers, Jazz Legends Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald featuring Milt Jackson, Keter Betts, Tommy Flanagan, Frank Foster, Grady Tate, Slide Hampton and Marlena Shaw to the most famous big bands including the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Vanguard jazz Orchestra. He became a co-owner of The Stockholm Jazz Festival in 2000. Two years later, Nugent founded the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, New York.

Band Lineup

Jonathan Gee (piano)

Nick Pini (bass)

Rod Youngs (drums)