Multi-reed player Lenny Pickett
Autodidact Lenny Pickett began his career playing saxophone and clarinet in bars and on the street in Berkeley California. He toured through the 70's with the legendary Oakland based R&B group Tower Of Power and worked in the 80’s as a saxophonist and an arranger for David Bowie, The Talking Heads and Laurie Anderson, among many others.
Lenny is currently musical director and bandleader for NBC's Saturday Night Live, where he has been playing since 1985 and leading the band since 1995. He has composed music for experimental dance and theater, including collaborations with choreographers Steven Petronio, Charles Moulton, Bebe Miller, Yoshiko Chuma, and the opera "Welfare", with filmmaker Fred Wiseman and poet David Slavitt. He also contributed compositions for Alan Ginsberg's recording The Lion For Real and William Burroughs' Dead City Radio.
His concert music has been performed by the Kronos Quartet, the New Century Saxophone Quartet, the New York Composers Orchestra, and others. A 1987 recording of his music, Lenny Pickett with the Borneo Horns, was described by Downbeat magazine as "a brilliantly creative use of acoustic instruments." His recent album, The Prescription, made in collaboration with the great Finnish jazz orchestra UMO and fellow Combo Nuvo member Rich Shemaria was released in 2014 by Random Acts Records.