Lew Tabackin is a jazz flautist and a tenor saxophonist. He is married to Toshiko Akiyoshi, who is a jazz pianist and a composer/arranger.
Tabackin studied flute at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and also studied music with composer Vincent Persichetti. In 1962 he graduated from the Conservatory and, after a stint with the U.S. Army, worked with Tal Farlow. He also worked in a combo that included Elvin Jones, Donald Byrd, and Roland Hanna. Later he would have a chair in The Dick Cavett Show's band.
He formed a quartet with Toshiko Akiyoshi in the late 1960s, and in 1973 co-founded the Toshiko Akiyoshi – Lew Tabackin Big Band which later became the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra featuring Lew Tabackin, playing bebop in Duke Ellington-influenced arrangements and compositions by Akiyoshi. Tabackin was principal soloist for the big band/orchestra from 1973 through 2003.