A Celebration of Sammy Nestico on his 95th for the Scene

Wednesday, February 6th marks the 95th birthday of the remarkable composer, arranger and bandleader Sammy Nestico.


Hear it on WZUM - Thursday night at 6, Sunday night at 5.

Sammy Nestico

Sammy Nestico

Not only have bands fronted by Basie and Quincy Jones relied on Sammy Nestico tunes and arrangements - but so have artists like Sinatra, Phil Collins, Bing Crosby Sarah Vaughan, Toni Tennille, Barbra Streisand and many more.

This week on “The Scene” on WZUM, we highlight some music of Sammy Nestico, including his first full LP with Count Basie in 1968, “Basie Straight Ahead,” the beautiful Send in the Clowns with Sarah Vaughan, the Phill Collins Big Band project, featuring Gerald Albright, plus the latest CD of music with the US Army Jazz Ambassadors, “the Sammy Sessions”

We also talk with Grammy-winning engineer and producer Jim Anderson about working with Sammy Nestico (Jim’s from Pittsburgh, too!).

Sammy worked on scores for scores of popular TV shows from Charlies Angels to Mannix and Mission Impossible. Early on in his career, he played trombone with bands led by Gene Krupa, Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey and Charlie Barnet.
Sammy Nestico is a Pittsburgh native, and earned his Bachelor’s in music education from Duquesne University in 1950. Appropriately, his charts have been played by thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of jazz and concerts band students over the decades.

Sarah Vaughan Basie Send in the Clowns.jpg

Also, music from Charenee Wade, who brings music of Gil Scott-Heron to the Kelly Strayhorn Theater March 2, and Richie Cole who returns to the Village Tavern, February 9.

And a reminder about the Pittsburgh Jazz Days of Winter, later this month!