Lew Tabackin

Lewis Barry Tabackin (born March 26, 1940) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist and flutist. He is married to pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi with whom he has co-led large ensembles since the 1970s.

Tabackin started learning flute at age 12, followed by tenor saxophone at age 15. He has cited Al Cohn and Coleman Hawkins as influences on saxophone, while his flute role models include classical players such as William Kincaid, Julius Baker, and Jean-Pierre Rampal. Tabackin studied flute at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and also studied music with composer Vincent Persichetti. In 1962 he graduated from the Conservatory and after serving with the U.S. Army worked with Tal Farlow. He also worked with Chuck Israels in New York City and a band that included Elvin Jones, Donald Byrd, and Roland Hanna. Later he was a member of The Dick Cavett Show band and The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen. He moved from New York to California with The Tonight Show in 1972. During this time he played with Shelly Manne and Billy Higgins.

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