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Geof Bradfield

Born in Houston, TX, saxophonist and composer Geof Bradfield has shared the stage throughout North America, Europe, Russia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East with jazz luminaries such as Randy Weston, Carl Allen, Brian Blade, Rodney Whitaker, Etienne Charles, Joe Locke, and Orrin Evans. He also performs and records regularly with fellow Chicago artists including Dana Hall, Clark Sommers, Jeff Parker, Matt Ulery, Marquis Hill, and Ryan Cohan, to name a few. His work is featured on 50+ CDs, including six albums as a leader that have garnered critical accolades from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Downbeat, the Chicago Tribune and NPR. Bradfield has been recognized in Downbeat Critics Polls as a Rising Star Tenor Saxophonist and Arranger. His latest CD is Birdhoused, recorded live in Chicago and released on the Canadian label Cellar Live in 2017.

A committed educator, Bradfield is Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University and has given master classes and lectures at the Brubeck Institute, the Manhattan School of Music, the Jazz Education Network conference, and numerous other national and international venues.


2015 Rising Star Arranger, 2015 Downbeat Critics Poll 2014 DCASE grant from the city of Chicago 2012 Illinois Arts Council Grant for Music Composition 2011 New Jazz Works: Composition and Presentation Award from Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Foundation 2010 Illinois Arts Council Grant for Music Composition 2010 Fellowship in Music Composition from the Black Metropolis Research Consortium and the Carnegie-Mellon Foundation. 2009 Community Arts Assistance Program Grant from the City of Chicago 2008 New Works: Composition and Presentation Award from Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation


Selmer Super Balanced Action Tenor w/ Rubber Zimberoff refaced by Adam Neiwood;; Selmer MkVI soprano; Buffet Prestige Bass Clarinet


Album Review
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“Geof Bradfield has drawn plenty of praise for his work as a reed soloist, and it’s all deserved… But in the last few years, Bradfield has made just as much impact with his precise and colorful writing, in compositions that evoke a vivid sense of place through the same mixture of detail and sweep.” —Neil Tesser

“Like I said man, you’ve been chosen. You don’t know that. The African Ancestors chose you. When you truly love your ancestors, with true love, they will guide you and they will touch you no matter where you are on the planet earth. You can be in Stockholm, you can be in Mississippi, you can be in Rio de Janeiro, when the ancestral spirits touch you, you have to respond

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone, tenor



Willing to teach

Advanced only


Currently Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone at Northern Illinois University, Geof Bradfield has extensive experience as an educator. Since completing his MFA at California Institute of the Arts, he has held positions at several colleges and universities as well as teaching master classes in topics ranging from improvisation to the history of American music in the twentieth century to jazz composition and saxophone technique. He has toured Africa, the Middle East and Russia through Jazz at Lincoln Center's "The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad" program as a performer and clinician.

Clinic/Workshop Information

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Outside in Music



Origin Records


General Semantics

Delmark Records


Yes, and...Music for...

Delmark Records



Cellar Live


Our Roots

Origin Records


Imaginary Lines

From: Originations
By Geof Bradfield

Central Avenue

From: Melba!
By Geof Bradfield

Urban Nomad

From: Urban Nomad
By Geof Bradfield



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