Richie Cannata

Richie Cannata

Tenor Sax icon Tenor Sax, Clarinet

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74 age

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March 3, 1949 Birthday

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New York, New York, U.S. Birthplace

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Richie Cannata is a musician, producer, and studio owner. He is best known as the saxophonist for Billy Joel, but also plays clarinet, flute and piano/keyboards. He began recording and touring with Joel in 1975 and continued to work with him for the next 5 years. Throughout the 1980s Cannata played with a variety of musicians including Tommy Shaw, Taylor Dane, and Bernie Williams. In 1991 Cannata started touring with the Beach Boys and would continue performing with them until 1998. Cannata is also busy as a the owner of Cove City Sound Studios, which he founded in 1983. The studio has recorded artists including Billy Joel, Jennifer Lopez, Max Weinberg and many others. In 2011 Cannata released a self-titled smooth jazz album.


Richie Cannata wrote the theme music for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Richie Cannata and Sean J. Kennedy created an educational jazz improv play-along series called "Improvising and Soloing In The Pocket." In 2014 Richie Cannata was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

Early Life

Richie Cannata was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1949 and grew up on Long Island. He began playing the piano at age 4 and added the clarinet and saxophone at age 8. Early on he knew he wanted a career and music and played in school bands and with local musicians, doing his first gig at age 13. Cannata spent years working as a studio musician and performing locally in New York before joining Billy Joel's band as a saxophonist in 1975.