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Brent Birckhead

Saxophonist Brent Birckhead is an award-winning artist, whose aesthetic is an intersectional amalgam of traditional and popular styles. Unbound by genre, Birckhead’s approach to woodwind artistry is driven by his compulsion for creative risk and deep respect for legacy. His place in the continuum of a storied lineage begins with his surname, Birckhead, and extends to his extensive musical education and work ethic as a visionary approach to life as a rising leader.

Educated at Howard University (BME, MM), Birckhead was named best blues/pop/rock soloist and outstanding instrumental jazz soloist by Downbeat Magazine as part of the annual Student Music Awards. In 2011 Brent was named "Best Alto Saxophonist" by the Washington City Paper. The New York Times calls Birckhead “One of the most riveting young improvisers in New York.”

The Baltimore native's talent earned him the honor of performing and touring with legendary artists including Lauryn Hill, Nas, Wale, Eric Benet, Larry Graham, George Duke and many more.

On February 22nd Birckhead released his self-titled debut album on Revive music. The record is rooted in activism, introspection and sonic experimentation. The compositions are primarily original and deal with topics as varied as love, familial history and the fraught nature of the modern black experience.

Birckhead is the professor of saxophone at Morgan State University. He currently resides in New York city.


2011 - Best Alto Saxophonist: Washington City Paper Best Blues Pop Rock soloist, Outstanding instrumental jazz soloist: Downbeat Magazine


Radio & Podcasts

Brent Birckhead, Chicago Underground Qt., Roger Kellaway and Other New Releases

Read "Brent Birckhead, Chicago Underground Qt., Roger Kellaway and Other New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Second part of this week's ride through the new releases prairie with music by artists that cover a lot of ground, from Chicago Underground Quartet to Jesse Harris, from Valentina Ciardelli's take on Frank Zappa to Roger Kellaway' interpretation of Paul Desmond, and much more For the first part of the show click here. Happy listening! Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" Matt Mayhall “Longview, TX" Fanatics ...

Album Review

Brent Birckhead: Birckhead

Read "Birckhead" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

As an alumnus of Lauryn Hill, Nas, George Duke, and Larry Graham as well as a Downbeat Award winner for outstanding instrumentalist, alto saxophonist Brent Birckhead has certainly absorbed his influences well. So it's anyone's conjecture why he would possibly want to undermine his musical intentions by intro-ing his eponymous release with a brief but utterly predictable bit of fusion before getting down to some serious business. Fleeting bits of predictability nag throughout, most noticeably on “Flux," which ...

Album Review

Brent Birckhead: Birckhead

Read "Birckhead" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Having positioned himself at the outer limits of expression, wailing and bleeping on his alto saxophone as he hurls his long, dreadlocked hair around like a dervish, Brent Birckhead obviously feels he can now occasionally relax, cease heeding the call of his neuroses and play what is sometimes quite beautiful music. This realization has been a long time coming, but well worth waiting for. His publicist sees Birckhead's playing as a project: “Rooted in activism, introspection and ...

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“One of the most riveting young improvisers in New York.”- NY Times

“Alto saxophonist Brent Birckhead, in a class by himself, glided over the chord changes during his solos with seeming effortlessness, like an Olympic weight lifter toying with a feather. — Capitalbop

“A sure fingered sax man that has a clear vision of what he wants to express, this singularity of his message and vision will grab you as much as they playing.” -Midwest Record Reviews

“He's a powerful player with both muscle and lyricism, and a generous helping of the blues undergirding them.” - Washington City Paper

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Just Groovin'

Phaze II Publishing


In the Valley

Stricker Street Records



Ivory Antidote Music



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