Roger “Buck” Hill

Buck Hill, highly acclaimed saxophonist and clarinetist, was born in Washington, DC in 1927. Like Duke Ellington, Billy Eckstine, and John Malachi, he attended Armstrong High School. He began playing as a professional saxophonist in 1943. Mr. Hill quickly developed a reputation as one of the premiere members of the city’s influential club of tenor saxophonists, along with Charlie Rouse, Frank Wess, and Benny Golson, who was a student at Howard University. He was also one of Washington’s leading proponents of the “tenor battle” tradition, serving as the local representative in jam sessions with renowned musicians such as Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, and other greats. He is a rare example of a world-class musician who chose to remain in his hometown, rather than tour. Nevertheless, he is in demand at international jazz events such as the North Sea and the Ottawa Jazz Festivals. His groups have performed at legendary jazz clubs such as Fat Tuesday’s, Street Basil’s, and the Village Vanguard in New York. His quartet has also been warmly received throughout the United States and several other countries. He can be heard as featured soloist on numerous recordings including those with Shirley Horn and Charlie Byrd. His quartet has recorded on the Polygram/Verve, Steeple Chase, and Turning Point labels. He is currently under contract with Muse Records and will release his fifth CD later this year. In recognition of his artistry, “Buck Hill Day” has been declared in Washington, DC and Ottawa, Canada. Critics describe Buck Hill as an assertive masterful saxophonist, a boss tenor, a veritable phenomenon, and fully formed legend.