Charlie Kohlhase’s Saxophone Support Group, Sunday, Oct. 4, 3:00pm, Institute for the Musical Arts


Charlie Kohlhase Saxophone Support Group, featuring: Charlie Kohlhase, Dan Blake, Sean Berry, Jason Robinson, Josh Sinton and Andy Voelker, saxophones. Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA), 165 Cape St. (Rt. 112), Goshen, MA.

This live performance is open to Jazz Shares members and business sponsors. This is a “Tanglewood-style” concert: bring lawn chairs, food and drink. Social distancing and masks are required.

Alto and baritone saxophonist Charlie Kohlhase has been a part of Boston’s jazz scene for more than thirty years. After private studies with Stan Strickland and Roswell Rudd, Kohlhase moved to Boston from his native New Hampshire in 1980. In 1989 he formed the Charlie Kohlhase Quintet, a band that worked around Boston and toured nationally for a dozen years. The Saxophone Support Group, is a woodwind octet that plays saxophone-oriented compositions by Julius Hemphill, Steve Lacy, John Tchicai and Kohlhase. Kohlhase also leads the Explorer’s Club, an octet with two reeds, trumpet, trombone, tuba, guitar, bass and drums. Kohlhase co-led groups with the late, great Danish/ Congolese saxophonist John Tchicai for New England tours in 1993, 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2006, and was a member of Boston’s Either/ Orchestra from 1987 to 2001. He is a member of the Makanda Project, a large ensemble dedicated to performing the compositions of Makanda Ken McIntyre.

Sean Berry is a saxophonist, improviser, composer and educator living in Brooklyn, NY. On the path from his hometown of Pullman, Washington, he spent time in Swansea (Wales, UK), New Hampshire, and Boston, earned degrees in music from Washington State University and The New England Conservatory, and studied, performed, and recorded with many great musicians. He loves New York for the concentrated access to some of the world’s best food, coffee, music and people.

The music of American saxophonist and scholar Jason Robinson (“rugged and scintillating,” New York Times) thrives in the fertile overlaps between improvisation and composition, acoustic music and electronics, tradition and experimentalism. Robinson’s primary group is his New York-based Janus Ensemble, which ranges in size from a quintet with Marty Ehrlich, Liberty Ellman, Drew Gress, and George Schuller, to the full nine-piece version of the group with the addition of JD Parran, Bill Lowe, Marcus Rojas, and Ches Smith. Robinson has released 15 albums as leader or co-leader and appeared on nearly 50 albums in total. As a scholar, Robinson’s work investigates the relationship between improvised and popular musics, experimentalism, and cultural identity. Robinson is Associate Professor of Chair of Music at Amherst College.

Saxophonist and composer Dan Blake has led a wide-ranging career that spans many genres and musical communities. His work has been commissioned by new music luminaries like Mivos Quartet, the Tri Centric Orchestra, and has received support from The Jerome Foundation, New Music USA and ASCAP. He has toured and performed with Grammy-winner Esperanza Spalding, Julian Lage, NEA Jazz Master Anthony Braxton, Velvet Underground founding member John Cale and many others. He holds a Ph.D. in composition from the City University of New York and is currently on faculty at the New School for Social Research.

Andy Voelker is a Boston area saxophonist, composer, arranger, and music educator. He located to Boston in the mid-90s to attend Berklee College of music, where he studied under George Garzone, Frank Tiberi and Danny Harrington. Voelker has been building his teaching practice at several organizations including Brookline Music School, Rivers Academy, and NEC Prep-Jazz Program. He has become a sought-after leader and sideman and runs a jam session at the mad monkfish in Cambridge (After Hours with the Andy Voelker Trio). Clear Audience, his original music group, has a monthly Sunday residency at The Parlour, in Providence, Rhode Island.

Josh Sinton is a Brooklyn-based low reedist, composer, band leader and essayist. He has written original music and arrangements for his bands Ideal Bread, musicianer, holus-Bolus and Senhor Vasques, as well as for the Saxophone Support Group. He has contributed to the Nate Wooley Quintet, Anthony Braxton’s Tricentric Orchestra, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society and Ingrid Laubrock’s orchestral music, and has maintained musical relationships with Kamala Sankaram, Guillermo Gregorio, Todd Neufeld, Tomas Fujiwara and Tony Falco. His written work can be found in Sound American, Downbeat, Do the Math and Brooklyn Rail as well as on his website. His most recent work is a series of videos of solo-performance on the baritone saxophone.