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Aaron Koppel

The Aaron Koppel Quartet is a local Chicago jazz ensemble lead by guitarist Aaron Koppel. Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, Aaron started playing guitar at age eleven and has been composing music virtually his entire life. Over the years Koppel has established a name for himself in the local jazz scene and has also gained national recognition. Downbeat Magazine, in a recent article, states, “26-year-old Koppel takes a conventional form (mainstream jazz) and makes something of it, breaking up the material, avoiding the tendency to just write blowing vehicles.” In an article by legendary jazz critic Neil Tesser, Koppel is described as “an inventive composer and surprisingly mature 20-something leader” Jazziz Magazine, 2009. AKQ’s new album “Falling Together Falling Apart” is on the 2009 Grammy nominating ballot for Best Instrumental Jazz Album and made #7 in Neil Tesser’s Top Ten Chicago Jazz Discs of 2009. The AKQ were also nominated for two International jazz awards: Best International Jazz Song and Best International Jazz Group, in the 2007 Toronto Exclusive Magazine Awards.

Performing together since 2004, the quartet consists of Chicago natives pianist Matt Nelson(Lupe Fiasco), bassist Graham Czach(Chicago Afrobeat Project), and drummer Robert Tucker(Matthew Santos). While touring with hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco, Matt Nelson has appeared on The David Letterman Show and The Colbert Report. The quartet is a unique bop-driven force that can only be described as what it is: another new exit off the highway of jazz. AKQ infuses the styles of jazz, soul, Latin, fusion, funk and world music. coined AKQ as “some of the best young players (and composers) the city has to offer.”

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“A new force to contend with.” -Alain Drouot, Jazzgram, Jazz Institute of Chicago, July 2010

“26-year-old Koppel takes a conventional form (mainstream jazz) and makes something of it, breaking up the material, avoiding the tendency to just write blowing vehicles.” -John Ephland, Downbeat Magazine, December 2009.

“(Koppel) doesn’t dizzy you with his solos. He pops in when ready, and steps out of the spotlight with taste and grace.” -Steve Forstneger, Illinois Entertainer, December 2009.

“On his quartet’s 2009 disc ‘Falling Together Falling Apart’, mainstream guitarist Aaron Koppel established himself as an inventive composer and surprisingly mature 20-something leader

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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


EDUCATION - Columbia College Chicago (2003-2007) Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz Performance. Performed with jazz ensembles and combos, Joe Lovano, Jon Faddis, Pat Martino, and Bootsy Collins. - Studied with legendary Chicago jazz guitarist Bobby Broom (2002) - New Trier Township High School, Winnetka, IL (1997-2001) Played in the Downbeat award-winning jazz ensembles and bluegrass band. TEACHING EXPERIENCE - Adjunct Music Faculty Hinsdale Central High School (Sept 2007-current) Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale, IL Responsibilities include running sectionals with all three jazz band's rhythm sections; running concert band sectionals, running percussion ensemble; and private jazz instruction for piano, bass, and guitar

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Chicago Sessions


Falling Together...

Chicago Sessions



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