Richie Cole fans continue to praise the jazz/bebop artist who was listed in the 2006 edition of Marquis Who's Who in America. Cole is recognized worldwide for the sweet sounds of his alto sax and the creativity behind his Alto Madness Orchestra. The Alto Madness Orchestra was developed by Richie in the early 90's and its continuing popularity is proof of its uniqueness.
Cole's ability goes far beyond mesmerizing the audience with his saxophone because he does all the composing and arranging, having amassed over five thousand of the latter. He also finds time to arrange for full big bands and Symphony Orchestras. Jazz Festivals book Cole months in advance and his appearances in clubs assure large audiences.
Richie's musical mind is always working and it's not unusual for him to write five to ten original compositions a day and copies all the parts for his seven piece band.
Cole and his saxophone, one of three Selmer Paris saxes he uses, travel the world captivating his fans. When Cole was touring Siberia he premiered his Jazz Suite, "A Night in Siberia," which was performed by the Red Army Big Band. The mayor of Tomsk, Siberia and the concert promoter are hoping to arrange a state department tour of their Orient Express route.
Cole's knowledge is revered in Master Classes at Universities and Colleges and the Alto Madness Orchestra course has entered its sixth year at the University of Madrid in Spain.
Richie Cole's own love for the music that has become his life began when he was 10 in home town of Trenton, New Jersey. "I played in a lot of different school bands and orchestras until I graduated," he recalled with a smile. His talent and dedication won him a full scholarship from Downbeat Magazine to the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Mass.
His serious professional career began in 1969 when he joined the Buddy Rich Big Band followed by becoming a part of the Lionel Hampton Big Band, then he joined the Doc Severinsen Big Band. In 1975 Richie teamed with the great Eddie Jefferson and worked with him until Jefferson's death four years later.
Cole has performed with the Manhattan Transfer, Bobby Enriquez, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Boots Randolph, and Nancy Wilson, to name just a few of his musical collaborations.
Cole's tours with Alto Madness have included performances in Australia, Japan, Africa, Finland, Russia and throughout Europe. He was appointed to the Board of the National Jazz Service Organization , and the Board for the National Endowment for the Arts where he served as chairman for one year. He is also a long time member of the International Association of Jazz Educators and has performed at their annual convention and in 2005 was awarded the State of California Congressional Certificate of Lifetime Achievement in Jazz on behalf of the Temecula Jazz Society.
Cole is ever expanding his collaborations which have included appearances with two vocal jazz groups including Five By Design and the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet. Five By Design brought Cole into the symphony arena that included appearances with the Vancouver Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Topeka Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Wheeling Symphony, and Terre Haute Symphony orchestras.
Cole has recorded over 50 albums and CD's, his newest, Back On Top, is on Jazz Excursion Records and is his first release utilizing the power of Internet Jazz radio marketing and sales.