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Tim Armacost

Armacost’s music is known for its balance of lyrical invention, harmonic sophistication and exciting interplay among top-tier band mates. His improvisations are brimming with ideas, but organized into a naturally flowing narrative. His unusual life story, which includes extended residencies in Japan, India, the Philippines, Holland and New York, informs his wide ranging musical explorations.

Touring regularly around the world both as a sideman and a leader, Armacost has worked with a phenomenal number of jazz greats, including Al Foster, Jimmy Cobb, Kenny Barron, Tom Harrell, Billy Hart, Victor Lewis, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Peter Erskine, Ray Drummond, Roy Hargrove, Don Friedman and Randy Brecker.

Armacost is not only known for his heat-of-the-moment playing. He also brings his storytelling skill to compositions for groups ranging from trios to big bands. He is a recipient of the prestigious Doris Duke/CMA “New Works” award. Four of his compositions were arranged by Michael Abene and Jim McNeely and recorded by Holland’s acclaimed Metropole Orchestra. Wynton Marsalis commissioned Armacost’s original composition and arrangement, “The Repose in All Things,” which is featured on the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s recent recording Jazz and Art II.

Armacost has recorded 14 critically acclaimed albums as a leader, performed on more than 60 as a sideman, and has recorded over 100 original songs and arrangements. Armacost is a widely respected educator, teaching at the Jamey Aebersold and Stanford Summer Jazz Workshops, at Queens College in New York City and as a clinician at Universities throughout the U.S., Japan and Europe.

Armacost co-leads the New York Standards Quartet, the Brooklyn Big Band, and In Trio, and is currently working on music for two new projects: a chord-less quartet featuring Gary Smulyan, John Patitucci and Al Foster, and a new quartet with Jim Ridl, Ugonna Okegwo and Rudy Royston. His most recent leader outing, Time Being, featuring Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts and Bob Hurst received 4 stars in Downbeat magazine, and has met with critical acclaim around the world.

Tim Armacost is a D’Addario Recording Artist, playing D’Addario reeds exclusively.


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As Tim stated earlier, his goal was offer a record at once open and modern and still accessible, welcoming to listeners. He has succeeded on a grand scale. This is an important record, not just because of this fresh idea of mixing a world rhythm with the jazz methodology, but because of its superb meeting of jazz’ past and its present, of its beguiling tableau of lyricism and energy. We can use uplifting, vital music like this in times like these. Zan Stewart
Primary Instrument

Saxophone, tenor


New York City

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


Armacost was the head of the Saxophone Department at the Sweelinck Conservatory, Amsterdam, from 1987 until 1991. He left the school to concentrate more on performing. Armacost is currently on the faculty of the Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop, does frequent guest appearances at colleges and high schools around the world, and teaches individuals at his home outside of New York City. Armacost is also working towards a masters degree in jazz composition at Queens College, under the guidance of Michael Mossman.


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Now Ear This

Self Produced


Time Being

Whirlwind Recordings Ltd


Rhythm and...



Brightly Dark

Satchmo Jazz Records


The Wishing Well

Double Cross




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