Knox and Bradley Jazz Ensembles With Adam Larson at the Galesburg Community Arts Center

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Join the Knox and Bradley big bands for their yearly joint concert, this year featuring saxophonist Adam Larson.
The Knox Jazz Ensemble is directed by Justin Haynes and the Bradley Jazz Ensemble is directed by Dr. Todd Kelly.

Adam Larson (b. 1990) is an American saxophonist, composer and author. An endorsed artist for P. Mauriat saxophones, The Boston Sax Shop and Key Leaves, Adam began playing saxophone at the age of 11. Described by critic Howard Reich of The Chicago-Tribune as “a player for whom the word ‘prodigious’ was coined”, by Peter Hum of the Ottawa Citizen as “a saxophonist who brings Donny McCaslin and Mark Turner to mind”, and by Nate Chinen of The New York Times as “the sort of jazz musician who gets flagged early on as a promising talent and then hustles to meet every requirement for success”, Larson has garnered numerous awards that distinguish him as one of the most promising artists of his generation. Upon graduating from high school in 2008, Adam moved to New York City to pursue his BM and MM in Jazz Performance on full-scholarship from The Manhattan School of Music, finishing his studies in 2014.

Larson has released eight albums; three for Outside In, one for Ropeadope Records, two under the Inner Circle Music label and two produced independently. Larson’s record “With Love, From Chicago”, received a rare 4.5 Star rating from Downbeat Magazine and was featured in JazzTimes Magazine, among other national media outlets. The second installment in his recent “trio trilogy” project- “With Love, From Kansas City”, was featured in ThePitch (KC), and the final installment of the trilogy, “With Love, From New York” featuring bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Obed Calvaire, received a 4 Star rating from Downbeat.

Larson keeps an active schedule with his own groups and as a sideman, having performed at several venues across the U.S. including The Green Mill, The Jazz Standard, Birdland, The 55 Bar, The Jazz Gallery, The Blue Note, The Village Vanguard, Smalls, Jazz at The Bistro, The Jazz Estate, The Jazz Showcase, Dazzle, Noce, The Jewell and several others.

Music has allowed Adam to see more of the world than he once thought possible, having toured Poland, India,Taiwan, Holland, Germany, and South Africa, as well much of the United States. Larson’s Trio received a South Arts “Jazz Road Touring Grant” in 2022 and In 2015 Larson’s quartet was selected as one of ten ensembles to tour on behalf of the U.S. State Department’s “American Music Abroad” program and toured Africa for 35 days visiting The Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Benin and Ghana.

Beyond maintaining an active touring and recording schedule, Larson continues to be a sought after clinician and masterclass presenter and has been a guest at more than 100 Universities across the world. Appearances include visits to University of Cape Town, HKU Conservatory-Utrecht, Temple University, Yale, Manhattan School of Music, and University of North Texas among many others. Larson is currently on faculty at KCAI where he teaches classes in Entrepreneurship. Larson has previously taught jazz saxophone, music business and pedagogy at UMKC Conservatory and jazz saxophone and jazz ensembles at KU. Larson has a diverse private lesson studio of online students from the U.S. and abroad.

Adam has authored 12 jazz etude books that have been sold in over 45 countries and States. In 2018, in partnership with BestSaxophoneWebsiteEver, he created and released a successful online masterclass dedicated exclusively to developing great technique, called “Lightning-Fast and Crystal- Clean”. In 2023, Larson partnered with “BetterSax” to release a one-of-a-kind course dedicated to rhythmic diversity, called “The Rhythmic Pyramid”. He maintains an impressive portfolio of commissioned ensemble writing for school jazz ensembles, having written more than thirty original works to date, as well as over 200 original compositions for his own groups/projects. Adam was commissioned by the Illinois Music Educators Association to compose the All-State composition for the 2020 convention, where he directed the Honors Jazz Band. Larson has also directed the South Dakota All-State Jazz Combo.

With a vested interest in giving back, Larson has worked in various capacities with organizations that showcase exceptional young talent in the United States. Adam has served as a mentor for the Grammy Foundation, and as an adjudicator for the Monterey Jazz Festival Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and YoungArts organization. Serving in the role of creative director of the YoungArts New York regional show, Larson has presented multiple genre-bending, interdisciplinary performances held at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City. Larson currently resides in Kansas City.

***Courtesy of the Knox College Music Department Facebook Page***

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