Greg Abate is an accomplished saxophonist, flutist, composer, and bandleader, known for his dynamic performances and technical virtuosity. Born in 1947 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Abate started playing the clarinet at the age of nine and later switched to the saxophone. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he earned a degree in performance and composition.
After college, Abate worked with many notable jazz musicians, including Ray Charles, Phil Woods, and Artie Shaw. In 1978, he joined the Ray Charles Orchestra, where he played alto saxophone and flute for two years. Abate later formed his own groups, including the Greg Abate Quartet and the Greg Abate Quintet, and has released over 20 albums as a leader.
Abate’s style is characterized by his ability to improvise at high speeds and to play in a variety of jazz styles, including bebop, swing, and Latin jazz. He is also a skilled flutist and frequently incorporates the instrument into his performances. In addition to his work as a performer, Abate is also a dedicated educator and has taught at Berklee College of Music, Rhode Island College, and the University of Rhode Island.
Abate has received numerous accolades for his contributions to jazz music. In 2016, he was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. He has also been recognized by the Jazz Education Network, the New England Jazz Alliance, and the Providence Phoenix, among others.
Despite his many accomplishments, Abate remains humble and dedicated to his craft. As he stated in an interview with JazzTimes, “I’m just trying to play better today than I did yesterday.” Abate continues to tour and record with his various groups and is widely regarded as one of the most talented and versatile jazz musicians of his generation.
Page last updated 4/1/2023.