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Michael Blake

An enduring presence for the last 30 years, saxophonist, composer and bandleader Michael Blake has built his reputation playing jazz and creative music in New York City. This visionary composer and arranger has produced a cornucopia of recordings that vary in context and mood. He has played tenor and soprano saxophone with a diverse range of artists including Lounge Lizards, Charlie Hunter, Henry Butler, Steven Bernstein & the Hot 9 and Ray Lamontagne.

Michael was born on May 19th, 1964 in Montreal, Canada. In the late 60’s his family moved across the continent to California’s Bay Area where the indelible sounds of Psychedelic Rock, Funk and Soul would have a huge impact on his young ears. After resettling in Vancouver, Canada, he picked up the clarinet at 14 and a few years later the tenor saxophone, studying both with David Branter, a disciple of renown saxophonist and teacher Eugene Rousseau. Michael credits his brother for bringing jazz records into the house and his parents for taking him to concerts where he heard  Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck and Miles Davis.

Michael Blake graduated from High School receiving the Music Award and enrolled in College. Disenchanted with school he cut his teeth at jam sessions and learned the music of local trailblazer, trombonist, pianist and composer Hugh Fraser. He formed his first group with fellow saxophonist Phil Dwyer and pianist Ross Taggart and freelanced in an array of bands. In 1984 & 1985 Michael participated in the Banff School of Fine Arts Jazz Program where we studied with bassist Dave Holland and saxophonists Steve Coleman and David Liebman. Michael received a grant from The Canada Council for the Arts to further his studies in New York City and relocated there in 1987.

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"This is music unbound in time...perfectly executed" DownBeat - James Hale

"Not only is it one of the year's best jazz albums, but it's another gem in a career filled with them" Chicago Reader - Peter Margasak

"Panoramic imagination" The New York Times

"Saxophonist Michael Blake‘s 2016 release is astonishing, exploding with intricate details and unleashing one grand statement after the other. Everything about this album indicates a sound and vision steps ahead of the music of today." Dave Sumner, Bird is the Word

"Incredibly inventive use of technique and emotion with an astuteness that ought to be the envy of musicians everywhere" Jazz da Gama

"You can hear Archie Shepp and Lucky Thompson and Coltrane and Dewey Redman in Mr

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone, tenor


New York City

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


University of Calgary (Calgary, AB)

Poznan Music Conservatory (Poznan, Poland)

Rhythmic Music Conservatory (Aarhus, Denmark)

Oxford University (Oxford, England)

University of London (London, England)

University of Southampton (Southampton, England)

Centro Cultural Vila Flor (Guimaraes Portugal)

Souza Lima (San Paulo, Brazil)

Koninklijk Conservatory (Antwerpen, Belgium)

Capilano University (Vancouver, Canada)

Vancouver Community College (Vancouver, Canada)

Brown University (Providence, RI)

Humboldt State University (Arcata, CA)

Penn State University (University Park, PA)

Cornish College (Seattle, WA)

Clinic/Workshop Information

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Dance of the Mystic...

Self Produced





The Normyn Suites

Sunnyside Records



Newvelle Records



Newvelle Records




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