Richie Cole (born February 29, 1948) is an American jazz alto saxophonist, composer and arranger born in Trenton, New Jersey. He is a graduate of Ewing High School, in Ewing Township, New Jersey.
Cole started playing alto saxophone when he was 10 years old, encouraged by his father who owned a jazz club in New Jersey. Influenced by Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker, Cole’s talent and dedication won him a full scholarship from Downbeat Magazine to the Berklee School of Music in Boston.
His professional career began in 1969 when he joined the Buddy Rich Big Band. And after stints with the Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Doc Severinsen Big Band, Cole formed his own quintet and toured worldwide, doing a great deal to popularize bebop and his own “Alto Madness” style in the 70’s and early 80’s.
Cole has performed and recorded with vocalist Eddie Jefferson, the Manhattan Transfer, Bobby Enriquez, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, Tom Waits, Boots Randolph, and Nancy Wilson aming many others.