Sax master, arranger, composer and educator Richie Cole began playing alto saxophone at age 10, winning a full scholarship from DownBeat magazine when he was in high school to attend the prestigious Berklee School of Music. His career began in 1969 when he joined the big bands of Buddy Rich and then Lionel Hampton and Doc Severinsen. Next he formed his own quintet, touring worldwide and popularizing his own "Alto Madness." He also toured with jazz vocalese artist Eddie Jefferson, who appeared on Cole's Hollywood Madness.
Cole is director of The Alto Madness Orchestra, which he founded with a rhythm section and four horns that achieve a Big Band sound through his clever arranging. He has performed and recorded with many jazz legends, including Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt and The Manhattan Transfer. He regularly gives master classes and has performed at the Village Vanguard and Carnegie Hall and for the Queen of England.
In his prolific career, Cole has recorded more than 50 albums and written more than 3,000 compositions.