Vinny Golia

Vinny Golia
Born (1946-03-01) March 1, 1946
Bronx, New York City, U.S.
Genres Jazz, avant-garde, free jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, bandleader, record label founder
Instruments Woodwinds, saxophone, flute, English horn, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, tárogató
Years active 1977–present
Labels Nine Winds

Vinny Golia (born March 1, 1946 in The Bronx, New York City, New York) is an American composer and multi-instrumentalist specializing in woodwind instruments. He performs in the genres of contemporary music, jazz, free jazz, and free improvisation.[1]


As a composer, Golia fuses the rich heritage of jazz, contemporary classical music and world music. Also a bandleader, he has presented his music to concert audiences in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the United States in ensembles varying dramatically in size and instrumentation. Golia has won numerous awards as a composer, including grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Lila Wallace Commissioning Program, the California Arts Council, Meet the Composer, Clausen Foundation of the Arts, Funds for U.S. Artists and the American Composers Forum. In 1982 he created the ongoing 50-piece Vinny Golia Large Ensemble to perform his compositions for chamber orchestra and jazz ensembles.

A multi-woodwind performer, Golia's recordings have been consistently picked by critics and readers of music journals for their yearly "ten best" lists. In 1990 he was the co-winner of the JazzTimes TDWR award for Bass Saxophone. In 1998, he ranked 1st in the Cadence Magazine Writers & Readers Poll and has continually placed in the Down Beat Critics Poll for Baritone & Soprano Saxophone. In 1999, he won the LA Weekly award for "Best Jazz Musician". Jazziz magazine has also named him as one of the 100 people who have influenced the course of jazz in the 21st century. In 2006, the Jazz Journalists Association honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013, he won the Down Beat Critics Poll in the "New Star" category for baritone saxophone.

Golia has been a featured performer with Anthony Braxton, Henry Grimes, John Carter, Bobby Bradford, Joëlle Léandre, Wadada Leo Smith, Horace Tapscott, John Zorn, Tim Berne, Bertram Turetzky, George Lewis, Barre Phillips, the Rova Saxophone Quartet, Patti Smith, Harry Gibson, Eugene Chadbourne, Kevin Ayers, Peter Kowald, John Bergamo, George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennick, Lydia Lunch, Harry Sparrney and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

Golia founded the jazz record label Nine Winds in 1977.[2][3]


Golia has a formed a number of ensembles that showcase both his style of composition and improvisation. These groups range from the his Large Ensemble to a variety of mixed quintets, saxophone quartets, duos, sextets and arrangements for jazz and classical orchestras.[4] Most recently, Golia has performed and toured with his sextet which features some of the new voices in the Los Angeles free-improv scene.[5] The group, composed of Gavin Templeton (alto sax), Daniel Rosenboom (trumpet), Alexander Noice (guitar), Andrew Lessman (drums) and Jon Armstrong (bass), has given performances at many of the premiere U.S. new music venues and festivals including Angel City Jazz Festival at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre,[6] the Outsound New Music Summit in San Francisco,[7] and The Stone in New York.[8]


With Anthony Braxton

With Alex Cline

With William Parker


  1. Simon, Adams. Barry Kernfeld, ed. "Golia, Vinny". The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  2. Woodard, Josef (January 28, 2000). "Making It Big". LA Times. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  3. "History". Nine Winds. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  4. "Discography". Nine Winds. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  5. Acquaro, Paul (June 14, 2012). "Vinny Golia Sextet - Abstractions and Retrocausalities". Free Jazz Collective. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  6. Barton, Chris (October 4, 2010). "Jazz Review: Angels City Jazz Festival at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre". LA Times. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  7. "Fire & Energy Music @ The 11th Annual Outsound New Music Summit". San Francisco Chronicle. July 21, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  8. "Vinny Golia Sextet + Dan Rosenboom Septet". Time Out NY. April 13, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  9. "Vinny Golia | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
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