Don Menza

Don Menza (born April 22, 1936) is an American jazz saxophonist, arranger, and composer.[1]

Don Menza
Don Menza at a concert in Germany, 2010
Don Menza at a concert in Germany, 2010
Background information
Born (1936-04-22) April 22, 1936 (age 84)
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
GenresJazz, big band, jazz fusion
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader
Years active1950s–present
LabelsSackville, Palo Alto
Associated actsMaynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich

Music careerEdit

After serving in the U.S. Army, he was part of the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra from 1960 to 1962 and then briefly worked for Stan Kenton.[1] From 1964 to 1968 he lived in Germany.[1] Back in the U.S., he became a member of the Buddy Rich band in 1968 and recorded a well-known solo with that band on "Channel One Suite".[1] In the 1970s he was a member of The Tonight Show Band.[2] He later lived in California and played with Elvin Jones and Louie Bellson.[1]

In 2005 Menza was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

His son Nick Menza (1964–2016) was the drummer for heavy metal band Megadeth.[4]


  • 1966 Morning Song (MPS)
  • 1977 First Flight (P-Vine)
  • 1977 Bones Blues (Sackville)
  • 1979 Horn of Plenty
  • 1981 Burnin' (RealTime)
  • 1981 Hip Pocket (Palo Alto)
  • 1991 Live at Claudio's (Sackville)
  • 1992 Series 20 Exitos: La Tariacuri (BMG)
  • 2005 Menza Lines (Jazzed Media)
  • 2006 Voyage (SWR/Hänssler Classic)[5]
  • 2017 Sonny Daze (Alessa Records)

With Louis Bellson

With Kenny Burrell

With Maynard Ferguson


  1. ^ a b c d e Yanow, Scott. "Don Menza". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  2. ^ Don Sweeney (2006). Backstage at the Tonight Show: From Johnny Carson to Jay Leno. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 120. ISBN 9781589793033.
  3. ^ "Don Menza BMHOF Class of 2005". Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  4. ^ Craig Sailor (January 12, 2017). "Megadeth drummer's gift to son stolen from Tacoma home". The News Tribune.
  5. ^ "Don Menza | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 October 2016.

External linksEdit