Jack Nimitz

March 5, 1928 – June 10, 2009

Although he has had a long and productive career, Jack Nimitz has long been underrated, not getting a chance to lead his own record session until a 1995 set for Fresh Sound, when he was already 65. He started on the clarinet when he was 12, switching to alto two years later and gigging locally at 15. In 1949, Nimitz started specializing on the baritone, and soon was playing with such territory bands as those led by Bob Astor, Johnny Bothwell and Daryl Harpa. From 1952-53, he was back in Washington D.C. before touring with Woody Herman (Oct. 1953-Sept. 1955) and a few months with Stan Kenton (1955-56). He was a regular in the house band at the Savoy and then spent an additional year with Kenton (1958-59). Setting in Los Angeles, Nimitz became a busy studio musician and also played with Bill Berry, Benny Carter, Gerald Wilson, Supersax (since its beginning in 1972), Bill Perkins’ Big Band, Bud Shank, Frank Strazzeri’s Woodwinds West, the Lighthouse All-Stars, and any other high-quality jazz group that needed a talented baritonist. — Scott Yanow, All-Music Guide

Read his obituary.

1 comment

  1. Diana Nimitz

    Scott Yanow has Jack’s birthday and birth place wrong all over the web. Jack was born January 11, 1930 in Washington D.C. I believe Lou Levy (a close friend and colleague) was born on March 5, 1928 in Chicago.

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