Oscar NoriegaOscar Noriega biography

An Arizona native of Mexican origin, Oscar Noriega began playing the saxophone at the age of ten.  His first professional experience was performing in a ranchera group with his four brothers.  Performing with this group, Hermanos Jovel, led Oscar to realize that music was his true calling.

After several years of musical studies at the University of Arizona and Arizona State, Oscar moved to Los Angeles, and then to Boston in 1990, where he worked with the Duke Ellington Repertory Orchestra (conducted by Gunther Schuller), the Either/Orchestra, and the Jazz Composers Alliance.  He also found himself at home in the fertile improvising communities surrounding Berklee and the New England Conservatory, contributing to sessions and recitals at both schools.  Gradually, however, Oscar moved down the coast in what he now views as an inevitable drift toward New York, and the countless opportunities it affords young, driven musicians.

Oscar has lived in Brooklyn since 1992, where he is constantly active in New York's downtown jazz world.  He plays regularly in a wide range of contexts, at such clubs as the Knitting Factory, Tonic, Birdland, and Visiones.  Groups that Oscar leads include Play Party, featuring Cuong Vu, Brad Shepik, and Tom Rainey, and the Oscar Noriega Quartet.  In addition to his work as a leader, Oscar is a member of the quartet Unit X, and of Sideshow, a collective which reinterprets the works of Charles Ives.  Sideshow was named best repertory ensemble of the year (1999) in the Village Voice.

©2018 OmniTone