The Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts will host the 2017 NSU Sax Fest Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, beginning at noon.

Saxophone students will be able to participate in master classes with professional musicians, attend a recital and meet the guest artists.

Derek Brown will present a recital and clinic at 3 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Brown will hold a jazz combo master class at noon in the Recital Hall. Guest instructor Marcos Colon will lead an NSU Saxophone Quartet master class at 1 p.m. in the Orchestra Room. At the same time, NSU Associate Professor of Saxophone Paul Forsyth will present a high school master class in Magale Recital Hall. At 2 p.m., a saxophone choir readings session will be held.

Brown lives and performs in Chicago, and is most known for his unique solo performances throughout the world. Crossing genres from jazz to funk to classical, Brown’s unique playing style, using creative new “beatbox-like” techniques is wowing audiences in festivals and venues across the globe. Brown is currently involved with the up-and-coming Chicago funk/fusion super group Low Spark, as well as his signature solo show, “BEATBoX SAX.”

With a fairly straightforward musical upbringing in small-town Michigan, Brown started to show some creative musical juice in the summers between years at Hope College. As one third of the jazz/bluegrass hybrid band, Afterthought, Brown began to write original tunes and experiment with the saxophone. By the time he left grad school at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music he was well on his way to creating his own unique approach to playing.

For the next six years, Brown was the Director of Jazz Studies at Abilene Christian University, in Abilene, Texas. In between teaching classes and lessons, directing the various jazz ensembles, starting up the annual Abilene Jazz Fest, and lots of grading, Derek challenged himself to see how full a sound he could get out of one horn, with no electronic help. Using some established techniques like slap-tonguing and double-tonguing, as well as some not-so-established techniques like various new percussive sounds and striking the sax with rings, he found something truly fresh.


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