Tim Warfield Jr The Jazz Tenor Saxophonist

Written By Sonny Akbar Sembada

Hi, my name is Sonny Akbar Sembada and I welcome you to my blog, The Uncle Jazz. The main topic of my blog is everything related to jazz music.. 

The jazz tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield, Jr. – the dude who’s been slaying on the sax since he was nine in good old York, Pennsylvania. He started with the alto sax but switched to the tenor sax back in high school at William Penn Sr. High.

Tim Warfield, Jr.: The Jazz Tenor Saxophonist Prodigy and Chill Maestro

And you know what? He nailed it, bagging jazz soloist awards left and right, even snagging second place at the Montreal Festival of Music in Canada among 40 other contenders.

After high school, the jazz tenor saxophonist Tim did the college thing at Howard University in D.C. for a couple of years. Then, he took the lead and joined music crews in Central Pennsylvania and the Baltimore/Washington scene.

Early Gigs and Shoutouts

Fast forward to 1990, Tim got the golden ticket – a spot in the Quintet led by the trumpet maestro Marlon Jordan. He hung out with the crew for a solid three years.

In 1991, the jazz tenor saxophonist Tim gets the nod to record “Tough Young Tenors” on the Island/Antilles label. No big deal, right? Well, it made The New York Times’ top ten list and hit number five on the Billboard jazz charts. Casual, but not really!

Tim also joined the Jazz Futures crew, a bunch of world-touring cats handpicked by George Wein to show off the best young jazz talents globally.

In the same year, he grabs the third spot in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition at the Smithsonian Institution in D.C. Nailed it!

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On the TV front, catch Tim on the Today Show, Bill Cosby’s You Bet Your Life (he was a regular band member until ’92), and Ted Turner’s Trumpet Awards in ’98. Oh, and sharing stages with legends like Donald Byrd, Marcus Miller, Dizzy Gillespie – just your typical jam session.

Jamming and Awards Galore

In ’94, Tim jumps on board with bassist and Verve recording artist Christian McBride. They groove together until ’99, and Tim’s first recording, “A Cool Blue,” gets a nod as one of The New York Times’ top ten records that year. Not bad, huh? Also, he scoops up the “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” award in DownBeat magazine’s Jazz Critics’ poll in ’99.

Youtube video by ThePhilly Pops 

Fast forward to 2018, Tim takes on the role of Assistant Professor & Jazz Masters of Music Grad Program Coordinator at Temple University in Philly. And just for kicks, he drops his latest album, “Jazzland,” on the Criss Cross Jazz label.

Tim’s still doing his thing – playing gigs, dropping killer records, and holding it down as a board member and Artistic Director for Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz. The man, the myth, the saxophone legend – that’s the jazz tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield, Jr.

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