NEWS

New York Times Feature

on May 24, 2013 by Neil Tesser

Frank Catalano going strong

on Jan 10, 2013 by Howard Reich

Frank Catalano Cover Story

on Mar 20, 2011 by Dan Ferris and Mike Jeffers

Saxophonist Frank Catalano set to blow away the 2010 Isthmus Jazz Festival

on Jun 03, 2010 by Dean Robbins

Frank Catalano's Reed and Mouthpiece

on Apr 20, 2010 by In Tune Monthly

Geschliffener Sound mit viel Soul

on Mar 22, 2010 by Von Rolf Graff

One Autism Mom's Notes

on Feb 14, 2010 by Pam Byrne

Frank Catalano Tonight

on Feb 13, 2010 by Shepherd Express Staff

Frank Catalano Quartet

on Jan 28, 2010 by A.V. Club Madison

Chit-Chat: Sax man Frank Catalano plays it cool

on Dec 21, 2009 by Renee Tomell

Frank Catalano: My One and Only Love (Review)

on May 01, 2009 by Ted Gioia

BANG! Review

on Oct 01, 2008 by Bill Meredith

Critics Preview

on Oct 03, 2007 by WUMUSICA

Sax in the Suburbs: The Strange –but true story of how Frank Catalano, a globe-trotting saxphone phenom, came to call the North Shore his adopted home.

on Jan 01, 2007 by Amber Holst

A Little Night Music

on Sep 24, 2006 by Where Magazine

Billboard Listing Jul 2006

on Jul 24, 2006 by Billboard Magazine

Chicago saxophonist Frank Catalano grows into his reputation

on Jul 12, 2006 by Howard Reich

Mighty Burner Review

on Jul 05, 2006 by Ron Netsky

Mighty Burner Review

on May 09, 2006 by Mark Corroto

Frank Catalano: Sax Machine Shows Jazz Is Still A Young Man's Game

on Sep 15, 2005 by Michael Austin

Sax Machine

on Apr 24, 2004 by Chicago Magazine

Sax in the Suburbs: The Strange –but true story of how Frank Catalano, a globe-trotting saxphone phenom, came to call the North Shore his adopted home.

on January 01, 2007 by Amber Holst Source:North Shore Magazine

If you ask 28-year-old jazz prodigy Frank Catalano, the youngest saxophonist ever voted into the "Downbeat Critics Poll," when he knew he was going to dedicate his life to the sax, he'll tell you it was at age 17, shortly after he got himself kicked out of the Kenilworth Country Club.

This was, of course, before Catalano performed for audiences as Far away as China and recorded his fifth album, They Mighty Burner, which debuted at No.11 on Billboard's Top Jazz charts last May.

The "Kenilworth Club incident" occurred in 1996. A buddy Catalano had met - where else but at jazz camp - hooked him up with a wedding gig at the Club, which is where he received a fateful tap on the shoulder.

"I was playing a famous samba, and in the middle of my solo, this guy comes up on stage and taps me on the shoulder," Catalano says. "It's not like I was playing in the corner somewhere; I was on stage, It freaked me out."

Catalano says he tends to play with his eyes closed, so when he realized it wasn't one of his band mates it threw him for a loop. When the man did it a second time, Catalano, in the throes of his solo, lost it. "The guy had the nerve to ask me to play a samba - in the middle of my performing a samba," he says. "I was 17 and had a shorter fuse back then and basically told him if he did it again I'd toss him off the stage. Literally." Needless to say Catalano was asked by security to "mellow out" and never played another gig at the Club.

"I don't have a bad vibe about the place,” he says now. "I just think it's hilarious. That's the goofy thing about music, you need those Kenilworth experiences to really teach you how to handle yourself on stage. I've come a long way”. A long way indeed, considering that Catalano has already jammed with Charles Earland. Ira Sullivan, Tony Bennett and David Sanborn.

But his earliest gigs were on the North Shore. The buddy he met at camp, Mark Sommers, lived with his parents in Lake Forest, and since most of Catalano's sets were in that area, he regularly crashed there, making it his home base. "At the time, my Mom lived out in Hanover Park, and I just didn't feel like commuting," he says." So I sort of adopted the North Shore as my home.

What people don't realize, says Catalano, is that he's been playing pretty much full-time since he was 14, after buying his first sax, a Selmer Mark VI, with money he'd scraped together from neighborhood lawn-mower duties. "And while my coffeehouse gigs at Newport Coffeehouse in Bannockburn didn't pay much," he says, "it was the exposure and practice I gained during that time that really alowed me to hone my craft" and mend his wounds.

At 16, hours before a flight at O'Hare and a scheduled concert at the Grammys, Catalano cut off his middle finger while trying to fix the engine of his '72 Beettlee. "Yeah, not good for a sax player." he jokes.

After reconstructive surgery, Catalano had to re-learn his craft, but by 19, he was signed by the prestigious Delmark label and recorded his first solo album, Cut It Out. Now both a Yamaha and Vandoren spokesperson, Catalano hosts clinics throughout the country and has played for such commercial bigwigs as Volkswagen, Land Rover and Motorola. Despite his hectic schedule, Catalano still finds time to run the after-school jazz program at the Off the Street Club in Chicago's Garfield Park neighborhood and is the artist in residence at College of Lake County, teaching jazz and, of course, a few country club sambas.