Lenny Pickett

Flute, Composer

1954 –

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Who is Lenny Pickett?

Lenny Pickett is an American saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist, composer, arranger, music director and teacher. He was a member of the Tower of Power Horns from 1972 until 1981, and since 1985 has been the tenor saxophone soloist with the Saturday Night Live band. He has also served as the Saturday Night Live band's musical director since 1995. He is known particularly for his skill in the altissimo register, which could be heard during the opening credits of each episode of Saturday Night Live.

Pickett grew up in Berkeley, California. He has no formal musical training, and did not attend high school beyond the ninth grade and he did not attend college. Except for a brief period of study with the jazz saxophonist Bert Wilson after dropping out of high school in Berkeley, he is completely self-taught in the saxophone. While with the Tower of Power Horns, which he joined when he was 18 years old, he performed with Elton John and many other rhythm and blues and soul groups. He has also worked as a saxophonist and an arranger for many artists including David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Talking Heads, Grayson Hugh and Laurie Anderson.

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Apr 10, 1954
Las Cruces
Also known as
  • Lenny Picket
  • United States of America
  • New York University
Lived in
  • Las Cruces

on July 23, 2013


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