Frank Wess was born in Kansas City but began his musical career in Oklahome and the midwest. His family later moved to Washington , D.C., where he began his career in jazz, working in big bands before he was twenty. His career was interrupted by World War II and while in the army played with military bands with great distinction. He was particularly proud of accompanying Josephine Baker in North Africa. After the war he worked with many bands such a legendary ensemble led by Billy Eckstine, but he is best known for his long association with Count Basie (1953-1964). While with Basie he not only played tenor and alto saxophones but became one of the foremost flautists in jazz and his facility on flute resulted in winning many polls. He was also a member of Clark Terry‘s big band from 1967 into the 1970s, played in the New York Jazz Quartet (with Roland Hanna and worked on TV and Broadway shows.His career continued without interruption until a few months before his death. He performed with hundreds of great musicians, including Kenny Barron, Rufus Reid, Buck Clayton, Benny Carter, Billy Taylor, Harry Edison, Mel Tormé, Ernestine Anderson, Louie Bellson, John Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Dick Hyman, Jane Jarvis, Frank Vignola and was a featured member of the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra as well as the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. He was often most at home leading his own quartet. In 1996 he recorded Surprise Surprise for CHIAROSCURO, featuring his own quartet, with guest appearances by Frank Foster, Jimmy Heath and Flip Phillips. In the 2000s, Wess released two albums with Hank Jones. In 2007 Wess was named an NEA Jazz Master by the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts. Frank Wess died October 30, 2013.