[Biography] – The Spanish tenor saxophone player Alberto Menéndez, born in 1970 and based in Mannheim, Germany, started playing clarinet at the age of 10 and decided, at age 16, to learn how to play tenor saxophone. He studied saxophone, arrangement & composition at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern and then attended the Heidelberg-Mannheim Musical College, from which he graduated in 1997. From 1995 up to 1998, Alberto Menéndez was a member of the Bundesjazzorchestra (German federal jazz orchestra) under the direction of Peter Herbolzheimer.
In addition to this orchestra, he also worked with the Frankfurt Jazz Big Band, Russ Spiegel’s Big Bang and the HR (Radio) Big Band. From 1994 to 1997, he played with the Mannheim founded marching band “Mardi Gras Brass Band”, which recorded and released compositions by him. In 1997, he became acquainted with the Latin jazz pianist and 5-time Grammy award winner Eddie Palmieri and toured with him through Europe until the year 2000 up.
During some of this time, Menéndez lived in the jazz metropolis of New York where he had a 2-month steady gig with the Cuban conga legend Carlos “Patato” Valdes in the fall of 1998. The fact that he also maintains himself in the commercial music world demonstrates the versatility of the young tenor saxophone player. He never avoided excursions to pop and was, for instance, a steady sideman for the Weather Girls (It`s raining men) or Uwe Ochsenknecht.
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