Introduced to the saxophone by his father, Dick Oatts’ career began in the Midwest but took off once New York City got its hands on him in the late 70s. Along with the Thad Jones – Mel Lewis Orchestra, his big band experience includes performances with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Mel Lewis, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Lester Bowie, Joe Lovano, Sam Jones-Tom Harrell, Paquito d’Rivera, Jim McNeely, Tito Puente, Kenny Wheeler and Gunther Schuller. Vocalists like Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Neene Freelon, Mel Torme and Milton Nascimento have relied on his talents, as have pop artists Luther Vandross, James Taylor and Everything But the Girl. Dick has also appeared in recordings and tours with Red Rodney, Eddie Gomez, Vic Juric, Bob Brookmeyer, Mel Lewis, Dom Salvador, Jerry Bergonzi, Flim & the BB’s, Fred Hersch, Dave Berkman, Soren Moller, Terell Stafford, Jon Faddis, Lalo Schiffrin, and Ray Mantilla. A professor of Jazz Studies at the Boyer School of Music at Temple University, Dick also is an artist-in-residence at the Amsterdam Conservatory. The Jazz Cruise is privileged to include an Artist of this caliber in its lineup.