Cultural Percussionist

Bud Shank Day

Clifford EverettBudShank, Jr. (May 27, 1926 – April 2, 2009) was an American alto saxophonist and flautist. He rose to prominence in the early 1950s playing lead alto and flute in Stan Kenton‘s Innovations in Modern Music Orchestra and throughout the decade worked in various small jazz combos. He spent the 1960s as a first-call studio musician in Hollywood. In the 1970s and 1980s, he performed regularly with the L. A. Four. Shank ultimately abandoned the flute to focus exclusively on playing jazz on the alto saxophone. He also recorded on tenor and baritone sax. He is also well known for the alto flute solo on the song “California Dreamin’” recorded by The Mamas & the Papas in 1965.

Bud Shank was born in Dayton, Ohio. He began with clarinet in Vandalia, Ohio, but had switched to saxophone before attending the University of North Carolina. While at UNC, Shank was initiated into the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. In 1946 he worked with Charlie Barnet before moving on to Kenton and the West coast jazz scene.

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