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Brian McCarthy

Saxophonist, composer, and arranger Brian McCarthy draws inspiration from the history of jazz while maintaining a modern awareness. His latest nonet album AFTER|LIFE, was awarded 4 stars by The Times (London) critic, Chris Pearson. Pearson says, “Imagine John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme driven by science rather than spirituality…While Coltrane praised God, McCarthy muses musically on death and rebirth in a cyclical cosmos and how we are all linked, down to a molecular level.” His debut nonet project, The Better Angels of Our Nature, earned 4 ½ stars from Downbeat Magazine. Brian Zimmerman called the work “a jazz album that makes a cavernous impression for its arresting beauty and conceptual brilliance.” McCarthy is endorsed by Selmer-Paris saxophones and D’Addario Woodwinds. He has released two albums featuring his small group and has recently introduced The Brian McCarthy Jazz Orchestra, which showcases new arrangements for guest artists. McCarthy is a two-time grant awardee from The Vermont Community Foundation (2016 & 2018) and The Vermont Arts Council (2015 & 2020).

Offstage, Brian has laid down roots in presenting and education as Affiliate Artist of Saxophone at the University of Vermont and adjunct Director of Bands at Saint Michael's College. In addition to his college involvement, Brian is active with students at the middle and high school level as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor with the Nassau County All County Festival, Green Mountain District Music Festival, Pennsylvania All-State Music Festival, and Vermont All-State Music Festival. In 2011, Brian also established Jazz at St. Michael’s College, a concert and educational series featuring artists such as Mulgrew Miller, Joe Locke, Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band, and The Dave Liebman Big Band.


Brian McCarthy is a Conn-Selmer and Selmer Paris Artist—Soprano Saxophone— Horn - Selmer Super Action 80 Series II - Gold Lacquer, Mouthpiece - Bari 68 - Hard Rubber, Selmer S80 C* - Hard Rubber—Alto Saxophone —Horn - Selmer 1957 Mark VI - Gold Lacquer, Mouthpiece - Vandoren V5-A35 - Hard Rubber, Vintage Selmer Soloist Short Shank D – Hard Rubber Selmer S80 C* - Hard Rubber—Tenor Saxophone—Horn - Selmer 1946 Balanced Action - Silver Plated, Mouthpiece - Doc Tenney Slant Signature Otto Link 7 - Hard Rubber, Selmer S80 C* - Hard Rubber—Baritone Sax—Horn - Selmer Super Action 80 Series II - Mouthpiece - Vandoren V16-B9 - Hard Rubber, Selmer S80 C* - Hard Rubber


“This just in...literally! [McCarthy] touches those roads Joshua Redman travels on with a fresh footing. This band excels at building anticipation, Justin Kauflin on piano is one to watch, exciting.” - All About Jazz "McCarthy exhibits an evocative tenderness…a captivating and exciting record… -Hrayr Attarian, AAJ “Saxophonist Brian McCarthy takes a progressive approach to straight-ahead jazz, demonstrating a strong command of the jazz saxophone lineage.” -John Barron, World Jazz Blog

Primary Instrument




Willing to teach

Advanced only


Over 15 years teaching experience privately and within institutions. BM in Jazz Performance and MM in Composition and Arranging. Brian is the Director of the Saint Michael's College Jazz Orchestra, FlynnArts ensemble coach, and teaches regularly at UVM, Johnson State College, Hazen Union, and Harwood Union. Private lessons are available upon request for classical or jazz instrumental instruction, composition, arranging and theory lessons. Lesson rates are $50 per hour, $30 per 1/2 hour. Special group rates available for high school students, please have you band director contact for further information. Now accepting credit card payments for lessons through PayPal (PayPal account not required). Please contact me at [email protected] for further information.

Clinic/Workshop Information

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Truth Revolution Recording Collective


The Better Angels of...

Truth Revolution Records



Self Produced


This Just In

Self Produced



From: After|Life
By Brian McCarthy

Battle Hymn of the Old Republic

From: The Better Angels of Our Nature
By Brian McCarthy

This Just In

From: This Just In
By Brian McCarthy


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