Dale Fielder

Dale Fielder

Musicians | Instrument: Saxophone, baritone | Location: Los Angeles

Updated: January 22, 2024

Born: July 27, 1956

Dale Fielder is an American jazz saxophonist, composer and bandleader. He is a multi-instrumentalist who plays all four saxophones: soprano, alto, tenor and baritone with equal authority. He is known for his original compositions and choice of performing rare, obscure jazz classics as well as his varied group concepts and variety of presentations. Fielder has recorded over 20 CDs as a leader for various labels since he first appeared on the national jazz scene in 1993 with his first CD Free Flow.

He grew up in Midland, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh where he studied oboe, bassoon and tuba in the school system and clarinet, saxophone, composition and arranging privately with noted Pittsburgh area tenor saxophonist Phillip Celli. Fielder is also a product of the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Studies Program, where he studied as an ethnomusicology major under Dr. Nathan Davis. Fielder's debut jazz performance was as a member of the Joe Harris Quartet, former drummer of the Charlie Parker Quintet and Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra. After relocating to NYC, he was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1984, studying with trumpeter/composer Frank Gordon and completed his first large work, "The Aquarian "for alto saxophone and chamber orchestra. While in NYC, he also performed with a host of current jazz stars such as pianist/composer Geri Allen and trombonist Robin Eubanks among many others.

After eight years in NYC, Fielder moved to Los Angeles and studied with alto legend, Charles McPherson and embarked on the challenging path of a bandleader, establishing the Dale Fielder Quartet, the DFQ, with pianist Harold Land, Jr. in 1988. By 1995, the DFQ's personnel had settled into its current configuration with ex-Mingus pianist Jane Getz, bassist Bill Markus, and drummer Thomas White; a unit that has remained intact for 25 years as of 2020. In 1996, Fielder and his DFQ recorded a national top-ten CD, "DEAR SIR: TRIBUTE TO WAYNE SHORTER" on his Clarion Jazz label, a label Fielder founded in 1993.  The CD found national attention for Fielder and his quartet.  In 1997, he received his first commission and wrote the extended eleven-movement jazz suite, "OCEAN OF LOVE AND MERCY" with an all-star Nonet featuring jazz greats George Bohanon and the late Daniel Jackson and others with his quartet. The CD was recorded in performance and subsequently released by Cadence Jazz Records. From 1997 through 2000, Fielder performed throughout Europe and Asia with his Quartet. The band was also selected by the national cable channel, BET, as their 1999 Jazz Discovery winner. Fielder has taped several video appearances and shows for BET.

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At times, it seems as if saxophonist Dale Fielder is one of the national jazz scene’s best kept secrets. An incredibly talented instrumentalist as well as an accomplished composer, Fielder’s command of his instrument, his improvisational runs, the nuances, his warm mellow tone —-his total expression is flawless. —Bob Agnew/LA Jazz Scene Fielder comes out of the gate blowing hard, aggressive, ferociously swinging tenor and with that blows away any preconceived notions about west coast jazz musicians not being able to deal with the same depth as their east coast counterparts. Fielder’s tone is big and pungent, reminiscent of Trane’s and he possesses an impressive command of his instrument in both low and high registers. No happy jazz here, just a lot of serious dealing. —Bill Milkowski/JazzTimes Magazine

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone, baritone


Los Angeles

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


University of Pittsburgh Ethnomusicology Major / Yamaha School Of Music (LA,CA) Currently: Jupiter Band Instruments Educational Clinician / Brentwood (CA) High School Master Classes / Lincoln Park Performing Art Center Master Classes (2010)

Clinic/Workshop Information

Educational Clinician for Jupiter Band Intruments. Talk and teach basics of jazz improvisation. Have students perform with Quartet and critique each student

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From: Nocturne Serenity - Saxophone...
By Dale Fielder