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Jason Kush

Dr. Jason Kush is an active saxophonist, educator, and scholar. He has performed as a soloist and ensemble member in a wide variety of genres in the United States, Europe, Central and South America. In addition to his membership in the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, Kush has worked as a free-lance jazz/commercial saxophonist with the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Big Band, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Eddie Daniels, Christian McBride, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Benny Golson, Maceo Parker, Sean Jones, Freddy Cole, Kevin Mahogany, Wayne Bergeron, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Patti Austin, Dave Koz, Andrea Bocelli, Barry Manilow, Common, Patti LuPone, Marie Osmond, Michael Feinstein, Johnny Mathis, Freddy Cole, Michael Bolton, Hugh Jackman, the Temptations, the Supremes, the O’Jays, and the Four Tops, among many others.


Kush also has extensive experience as an orchestral musician, performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (over 200 services including a 2013 European tour), the Russian National Orchestra, and the New World Symphony (including a 2008 European Tour).


Kush’s solo discography includes Finally Friday (Jason Kush Quartet featuring Alton Merrell, piano, Jeff Grubbs, bass, and David Glover/MCG Jazz), Intersecting Lines (featuring pianist Billy Test/New Focus Records-Naxos) and Sonate (featuring pianist Liana Pailodze Harron/Armazi Productions). Kush has also recorded with the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, the Mike Tomaro Big Band, the Stephen Philip Harvey Jazz Orchestra, the DeFade Family Band, Madd for Tadd, the Pittsburgh Festival Opera, reggatone artist Hector el Father, the South 9 Ensemble, the Balcony Big Band, the Nathan Douds Ensemble, as well as Eddie Daniels, Tom Scott, and the Henri Mancini Institute Big Band, a project that received a two Grammy Nominations in 2006.


As an author, Kush’s scholarly work includes a dissertation on the life and innovations of Belgian inventor François Louis, an extensive interview/article on Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zenón, as well as feature articles and interviews in various magazines and journals pertaining to saxophone performance and pedagogy, including in The International Musician,

Saxophone Journal, Polyphonic.org, The Instrumentalist, and The Saxophonist. In 2013, Kush established the Three New Music Consortium, an internationally reaching non-profit organization whose goal is to unite musicians, arts enthusiasts, and musical composers in a common quest for newly composed music. The first commission by this organization premiered in 2014 – Out of this World – a trio for alto saxophone, cello, and piano by David Maslanka.


Kush earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Miami after obtaining his Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of

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Album Review

Jason Kush: Finally Friday

Read "Finally Friday" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Simply narrating the resume of saxophonist/educator/writer/composer Jason Kush would require more space than is usually devoted to an entire review. For someone his age--or even someone older--Kush, currently an associate professor at Slippery Rock (PA) University, has had an exceptionally wide and productive career as a performer, teacher and author in a multitude of genres in the U.S. and around the world. What matters here, of course, is how well Kush fares on Finally Friday, the third ...

Album Review

South Florida Jazz Orchestra: Cheap Thrills: The Music Of Rick Margitza

Read "Cheap Thrills: The Music Of Rick Margitza" reviewed by Jack Bowers

In 2019, the acclaimed Michigan-bred, Paris-based tenor saxophonist Rick Margitza thought he was being asked to contribute a couple of charts to the University of South Florida Jazz Orchestra's fifth recording in its fifteen-year history as a working ensemble. But when SFJO founder and leader Chuck Bergeron looked at the charts he had an even better idea, and asked Margitza to write and / or arrange everything on the album, which thus became Cheap Thrills: The Music of Rick Margitza. ...

Album Review

South Florida Jazz Orchestra: Cheap Thrills: The Music Of Rick Margitza

Read "Cheap Thrills: The Music Of Rick Margitza" reviewed by Pierre Giroux

The concept of a large, tightly-knit big band in a recording studio, on a concert or jazz club stage may just be a plug-in memory in today's environment. Fortunately there is the fifteenth anniversary recording of The South Florida Jazz Orchestra directed by bassist/bandleader Chuck Bergeron, entitled Cheap Thrills: The Music Of Rick Margitza, to remind us what a disciplined inventive big band sounds like. With the exception of George and Ira Gershwin's “Embraceable You," all the other ...

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