Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Niewood, Gerry (Gerard Joseph Nevidosky)

Niewood, Gerry [Gerard Joseph Nevidosky], alto, tenor, baritone, soprano saxes, flutes; b. Rochester, NY, 6 April 1943. d. 12 February 2009. His parents are Lester and Ada (Smalline).

Gerry Niewood

Gerry Niewood began playing sax at age eight, and first performed alongside Chuck Mangione, an association for which Niewood is best known, when they were students at Franklin High School in Rochester, NY. Niewood graduated from SUNY-Buffalo (1965) with a BS in Industrial Relations, and later from Eastman School of Music (1970) where he received a Bachelor of Music as a Saxophone Major. Although his Mangione connection built Niewood a fan base among fusion and smooth jazz fans, he also made his mark as an excellent mainstream jazz player. During his Rochester years, he sat in with Sonny Stitt. He married Gurly Victoria Hulbert 3/2 /72. They had two children Adam (b. April  14, 1977), who is also a noted saxophonist, and Elizabeth (b. August 18, 1985). Adam has also been featured on several, including Former Miss Sunshine (with a group called Sons, Brothers, and Wrestlers) and Epic Journey.

Niewood appeared on many of Mangione's best known recordings. In the mid-1970s he worked in a mainstream jazz quartet alongside Dave Samuels. Around this same time, Niewood recorded two fine albums as a leader for the A&M label (Slow, Hot Wind and Gerry Niewood and Timepiece), which deserve to be better known. In the 1980s, he worked with Joe Beck, and participated in various freelance projects, including an appearance with Simon and Garfunkel at their 1981 concert in Central Park. In the mid-1990s, Niewood reunited with Mangione, a connection that continued until his death.

Gerry Niewood was killed in the crash of a commuter airplane near Buffalo, New York on February 12, 2009, where he was traveling for a performance with Mangione and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. The crash also took the life of guitarist Coleman Mellett.

Slow Hot Wind (1975); Gerry Niewood and Timepiece (1977); Share My Dream (1985); Alone (1988); Essence (1998); Facets (2002)

As sideperson:
Chuck Mangione: Friends and Love (1970), Together (1971), The Chuck Mangione Quartet (1972), Alive (1972), Land of Make Believe (1973), Chase the Clouds Away (1975), Bellavia (1975); Esther Satterfield: Once I Loved (1974), The Need To Be (1976); Walter Bishop, Jr.: Soul Village (1977); Gil Evans: Live in Germany (1978); Gerry Mulligan Walk On The Water (1979);Simon and Garfunkel: Concert in Central Park (1981); Dave Mathews: Concierto De Aranjuez (with Jim Hall) (1981), Grand Connection (1982); Mark Murphy: The Artistry of Mark Murphy (1982); Butch Miles: Jazz Express (1986); John Serry: Enchantress (1986); Randy Sandke Awakening (1988); Lena Horn: The Men In My Life (1988); Cleo Laine: Jazz (1990); Peggy Lee: Moments Like This (1992); Wally Dunbar: Jazz Eleven Everything in Time (2000);  Jeanie Bryson: Deja Blue (2001); Nneena Freelon: Tales of Wonder (2002)

Gerry's tenor sax was heard on the sound track of the Robert DeNiro film "A Bronx Tale"

Web sites:
Gerry Niewood's MySpace page
Adam Niewood's web site

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