Scott Hamilton




Members of the Historical Archive Committee of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame are researching and documenting the career of this important Ocean State musician. When work is completed, we will be posting an in-depth biography and complete discography on this page. In the meantime, please enjoy this introduction to his work.

World-renowned tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton of Providence was born in 1954. He began his career playing blues harp and alto sax, but by age 16 he’d become serious about the tenor. After honing his style with his first jazz group, The Hamilton-Bates Blue Flames, he moved to New York in 1976 and hasn’t looked back since. His style, while deeply rooted in the pre-Bop sounds of Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young, was already fully formed and seemed unique and all his own during the days of free jazz and early fusion. Through his mentor Roy Eldridge, with whom he’d played in Boston the previous year, he was welcomed into the fold by the old guard and worked with Anita O’Day, Hank Jones, Benny Goodman, Illinois Jacquet, Woody Herman and another of his mentors, Ruby Braff. In 1977, Scott began recording for Concord Records and in the notes for his first album, jazz writer Leonard Feather hailed him as, “…the most counterrevolutionary welcome arrival on the scene…a breath of fresh air.” He has more than 100 albums in his discography including more than 40 as a leader or co-leader, a dozen with Rosemary Clooney, and releases with Dave McKenna, Tony Bennett, Gerry Mulligan, Flip Phillips, Buddy Tate and Warren Vache. For some years he was based in London, but now calls Italy home. He regularly tours around the world and returns to the U.S. several times per year.