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Kasey Knudsen

Kasey Knudsen is a San Francisco-based saxophonist, composer & educator. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music in 2002. She has been dubbed "one of the region's most esteemed saxophonists"  (Andrew Gilbert, San Francisco Classical Voice, 2018) and has "quietly become one of the essential voices in the Bay Area jazz scene" (Andrew Gilbert, East Bay Express, 2014). Knudsen was included in a list of "10 Female Instrumentalists Who Redefine Jazz" by Alexa Peters of Paste Magazine (2016) and voted "One of the Best Female Jazz Musicians in the East Bay" (CBS, SF local Bay Area, 2013).

As a composer, Knudsen has been commissioned by the San Jose Jazz 'New Works Festival' to write a piece and create an accompanying film in response to the global pandemic (2021). In 2020, she was the recipient of InterMusic SF's Small Chamber Music Grant, funding the debut album of the Kasey Knudsen Sextet. In 2013, Knudsen was commissioned by Intersection For the Arts to compose and perform an evening of new work featuring her original music. In 2008, Knudsen was featured in a series presented by the De Young Museum, showcasing her composition inspired by visual artist Deborah Oropallo. In 2005, she was commissioned by the California Jazz Conservatory's Emerging Artist Series to present an evening of original music.

In addition to leading a number of her own projects, as a co-leader, she is involved in several groups including the Schimscheimer Family Trio, the Holly Martins, and the Klaxon Mutant Allstars. Knudsen collaborates frequently with many of the most unique musical voices in the Bay Area including multiple performances across the US and Europe with Tune-Yards, Fred Frith and the Gravity Band, the Charlie Hunter Quartet, Erik Jekabson, the Ian Carey Quintet + 1, Ben Goldberg, the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, Beth Schenck, and many more.

As an educator, Knudsen specializes in the development of improvisation skills through the study of harmony, transcription, and saxophone technique with a focus on sound production, articulation, phrasing, and ear training. She currently teaches ensembles and workshops at the California Jazz Conservatory.  She has been a clinician at Berkeley High School, Piedmont High School, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the Lafayette Jazz Workshop, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Reno Jazz Festival, and the UC Berkeley Young Musician's Program. Knudsen was an adjunct professor of Jazz Studies at Sonoma State University for 10 years.


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6
Album Review

Ian Carey: Strange Arts

Read "Strange Arts" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Wood Metal Plastic is a septet that consists of a jazz quartet (trumpet, alto saxophone, bass, drums) and three-member string section presided over by San Francisco Bay area-based trumpeter Ian Carey, who wrote and arranged the material on his seventh album as leader, Strange Arts. It was recorded as a tribute to Carey's father, the innovative visual artist Philip Carey, who died in 2022. Aside from Carey, those in the quartet are alto Kasey Knudsen, bassist Lisa ...

3
Album Review

Throttle Elevator Music: Final Floor

Read "Final Floor" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Final Floor marks the last stop of a band that one might say never really was. Throttle Elevator Music was the name given to a jazz-punk studio cooperative project organized and operating from 2011 through 2017 around saxophonist Kamasi Washington, drummer Mike Hughes (aka “Lumpy") and composer and guitarist Gregory Howe. Howe also founded and serves as producer and engineer for Wide Hive Records, the label that recorded and distributed their music. He notes on the back jacket ...

22
Album Review

Throttle Elevator Music: Emergency Exit

Read "Emergency Exit" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The sub-genre of “punk jazz" has existed—on paper— since the 1970s when Patti Smith proposed a collaboration with Ornette Coleman. That partnership did not materialize. When all the moving pieces are pulled together there is little substance to suggest that the category ever shared specific practices or conventions. Then, in 2012, Throttle Elevator Music emerged with their self-titled debut (Wide Hive Records). The original group was a trio posing as a quintet. Drums and guitars were manned by Mike “Lumpy" ...

3
Album Review

Ian Carey Quintet + 1: Fire in My Head: The Anxiety Suite

Read "Fire in My Head: The Anxiety Suite" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Trumpeter Ian Carey's Fire In My Head: The Anxiety Suite opens on a somber note, not with the sense of agitation that the album title suggests. The initial moments of the tune, “Signs And Symptoms," Part 1 of the suite, may initially be addressing the fatigue common to the malady, before his Carey's Quintet + 1 gradually turns up of the momentum in the direction of that anxiety, in manifestations from the leader's horn, followed by an on-edge turn by ...

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Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Strange Arts

Slow And Steady Records
2024

buy

Final Floor

Wide Hive Records
2021

buy

Emergency Exit

Wide Hide Records
2020

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