Introducing Roxy Coss - Going for Adds January 10, 2010


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New York City based musician and composer Roxy Coss is making a name for herself as a versatile, original voice within the vibrant and thriving jazz scene today. All About Jazz is saying, “Coss is head and shoulders above many of the gifted, well-schooled young people who are trying to get a toehold in the intensely competitive NYC jazz and improvised music scenes. Her multiple talents are worthy of wider recognition, right now."

Roxy's exploration of musical styles emerged from an exceptional base in bebop, and has grown into a diverse and creative mix of genres which manifests in her playing, composing, and arranging. Her mastery of instruments extends from her primary instrument, tenor saxophone, to flute, soprano and alto saxophones, and clarinet.

Originally from Seattle, WA, Roxy began winning awards for her composition at the age of 9. She went on to receive numerous soloist awards at various jazz festivals, including Outstanding Saxophone Soloist at the prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition in 2004, while playing first Tenor chair in the acclaimed Garfield High School Jazz Band.

Roxy accepted a full Presidential Scholarship to attend William Paterson University in NJ after receiving scholarship offers from some of the top music schools. At WPU she had the opportunity to study with Clark Terry, Mulgrew Miller, Harold Mabern, Gary Smulyan, Rich Perry, Rich DeRosa, Steve LaSpina, Bill Goodwin, Bill Mobley, Kevin Norton, and David Demsey, among others. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2008 with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies/Performance.

Roxy has extensive experience performing around the world in Germany, Paris, at the North Sea, Vienne, and Montreux Jazz Festivals in Europe, IAJE in Toronto, and the JVC—New York Jazz Festival. Roxy has also appeared on the Today Show Live, at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, and at the world famous Blue Note Jazz Club. Her rich background has offered her the opportunity to perform alongside jazz legends and greats such as Clark Terry, Claudio Roditi, and Grassella Oliphant. She has also appeared with the Smoke Big Band, the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, and opened for the Dave Leibman Big Band and Rufus Reid's Quintet plus Four as part of the esteemed Jazz Room Series. Roxy is also a prolific composer, and was commissioned by the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company in 2009 to write a full score for a 35-minute dance piece, Tribe, which was commissioned by the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.

Roxy's self-titled debut album released in October of this year, featuring eight original compositions on which she plays Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, as well as Flute. “My goal is to explore new musical genres, breaking boundaries and preconceptions of present day music. I want to make music you can feel in your bones, full of honesty, passion, joy, and awareness," says Coss.

Currently, Roxy is playing with the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, which has taken her to Europe, and on the 10th Annual Jazz Party at Sea, a cruise through the East Caribbean. She also leads the Roxy Coss Quintet, based out of New York. She appeared twice in this year's Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle, WA; once as a featured guest with the Garfield High School Big Band at the Triple Door, and once with her own Quartet at Tula's Jazz Club & Restaurant, which was recorded by Jim Wilke for his radio show, Jazz Northwest on KPLU, Seattle.


Saxophonist and Flutist Roxy Coss is changing the face of Jazz with her self released debut album, Roxy Coss. No longer can you say that the role of Jazz Saxophonist belongs to the traditional male player. Renaissance Woman Coss proves otherwise with truly inspired performances on eight original compositions.

Coss is proving to be a breakthrough talent on the New York City Jazz scene, which is arguably the best in the world. All About Jazz said, [Roxy Coss is] “enterprising, impressive, meticulous, poised, and centered." These qualities are clear as she takes a front and center role in the album, without sounding overbearing or overdone. With a strong vision, she unpretentiously allows the music to develop organically and speak for itself. Roxy plays Tenor and soprano Saxophones as well as Flute on the recording, and is joined by Kate Miller on Trumpet and Flugelhorn, Justin Kauflin on Piano and Rhodes, Ryan Brennan on Guitar, Kellen Harrison on Bass, and Shawn Baltazor on Drums. This roster is comprised of musicians Coss played with during her studies at William Paterson University, as well as in her long-time residency at the Manhattan Restaurant 181 Cabrini. The sextet presents unique, tasteful performances proving that these young and energetic musicians can offer a new take on what Jazz is today.

Coss, who has played on stage with the great trumpet legend Clark Terry, brings the experience of tradition to the album, but challenges the boundaries with imaginative and refreshing material. Her compositions push beyond Jazz and reach into the pockets of Soul, Rock, Hip-Hop, R&B, Classical, Funk, Latin, and beyond. The first track, “Wandering One," features a pretty and relaxed swing melody. Coss takes her time with her solo, starting with a low and breathy rich tone and sparse ideas, until she eventually breaks out into a high-energy, high flying and hard-swinging improvisation. You can feel her channeling an old soul, which is typical of her playing; it provides an appropriate introduction for the other seven tunes on the recording.

“Lately," the second track on the album, is a back-beat heavy ballad in the style of a neo-soul crooner, but is laced with complex chords reminiscent of the great compositions of Charles Mingus and Wayne Shorter. “A New Time" introduces Coss' sweet and pure flute tone over a languid, sexy Cha-Cha layered with authentic percussion and the strong thud of the acoustic bass. Clearly her flute is not a “double" instrument; as she commands her prowess through strong, biting quarter notes and flourishing runs throughout the range of the instrument.

Kauflin's uplifting solo piano on “Enlightenment" sets the mood for a gospel-influenced ballad reminiscent of Coltrane's “Dear Lord." “The Slow Ascent," lays down a fun, driving funk beat, heading in a more intense and hard grooving direction, until “The Cherry On Top," which showcases Coss' strong sense of swing on her Basie-esque flute playing, and the delicate brush work of Baltazor. “I Think So," a melancholy and rich ballad, features Coss' liquid Soprano playing in a chord-less trio setting; providing a close look at the interplay between Coss, Harrison and Baltazor. The album finishes with “July," a strong anthem to the integration of jazz with other genres.

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