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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Don Menza


DON MENZA (saxophonist) was born April 22, 1936 in Buffalo, N.Y. Menza, a strong tenor player with his own distinctive style joined Maynard Ferguson’s band as soloist and arranger in 1962, after a stint in the U.S. Army. After leading his own quintet and a return to Germany, he played with Buddy Rich’s Big Band and is acclaimed for his solo work on “Channel One Suite” – featuring circular breathing technique. Menza was a longtime member of the Tonight Show Band on NBC and is a renowned educator, his compositions “Groovin Hard” and “Time Check”, part of standard college repertoire.