Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Wainapel, Harvey (Simon)

Wainapel, Harvey (Simon), soprano, alto, and tenor sax, clarinet; b. Middletown, NY, 31 March 1951. (His name is pronounced "WINE-apple.") He grew up in Ellenville, NY.
Father (David) and mother (Saba) moved to the USA after surviving concentration camps in Poland; after a year in New York City, they moved 90 miles north to Ellenville, a small village in the Catskill Mountain region of upstate New York. Older brother (Stanley), now a physician, introduced Harvey to jazz as a young teenager.

Harvey began playing clarinet at age 8. Studied through elementary and high school with Peter Stellato. Started teaching himself jazz by playing along with radio shows (WLIB, WRVR, WBAI, all NYC stations that fortunately could be picked up in Ellenville).

After moving to Philadelphia for two years of studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvey began playing saxophone. Two years later moved to Boston and enrolled at Berklee College of Music. Regular jam session partners included Joe Lovano, Billy Drewes, Steve Slagle, Kenny Werner, John Scofield, Victor Assis Brasil, Claudio Roditi, Chip Jackson. Wainapel studied saxophones with Joe Viola. At Berklee, he played in the ensembles of Gary Burton, Herb Pomeroy ("Recording Band"), Phil Wilson.1974, he performed with Mike Gibbs and Gary Burton at Carnegie Hall.

In 1974, following a two-month tour of Tunisia (fellow band members included pianist Ted Lo and drummer Jamey Haddad), Wainapel settled in Amsterdam, Holland for four years of free-lancing activity. In 1978 he was offered the lead alto position in the Hessen Radio Big Band (Germany) and moved to Frankfurt for a year. In 1979, Wainapel moved to New York City. In 1981, he went on a ten-month world tour with singer Ray Charles; following the tour, Wainapel moved to the San Francisco area, where he still resides.

Wainapel has toured as a leader and educator in at least 15 countries; he has also toured as a sideman with Joe Lovano,  Airto Moreira & Flora Purim, Jovino Santos Neto; performed with McCoy Tyner, Johnny Coles, The Metropole Orchestra, Manfredo Fest; in Brazil he has performed with Guinga, Itibere Zwarg Orquestra Familia, Laercio de Freitas, Paulo Bellinati, Nelson Ayres, and Sounscape Big Band.

In the SF Bay Area he has played every major jazz venue and festival, including three appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival leading his own groups. For the last 14 years, he has been on the jazz faculty at Sonoma State University and the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

At Home/On the Road (1992); Ambrosia - The Music of Kenny Barron (1995/1996); The Hang (1998)

As sideperson:
Gary Burton/Michael Gibbs: In the Public Interest (1973); Tito Puente: Un Poco Loco; Charles Brown: So Goes Love; Sandy Cressman: Homenagem Brasileira (1998); Jovino Santos Neto: Ao Vivo Em Olympia (Live in Olympia) (2000); Viva Brasil: Messages (2000); Carlos Oliveira: Brazilian Origins (2002); Jovino Santos Neto: (untitled) (2003); Mike Marshall: Choro Famoso (2003)

Radio broadcasts:
Various networks: KCSM (USA); CBC (Canada); Radio MEC (Brazil); also networks in Holland (various small-group jazz club performances, plus recordings and performances with the Metropole Orchestra), Germany, Denmark, France, and Belgium.

He has been nominated for two BAMMY (Bay Area Music) Awards: Outstanding Reed Player and Outstanding Jazz Musician, being short-listed along with Joe Henderson, Peter Apfelbaum and Charlie Hunter.

Contact information:

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