Firehouse 12 • 45 Crown Street • New Haven, CT 06510 • 203.785.0468

Jason Rigby


Performer's Website

Jason Rigby has been hailed as “a truly lyrical musician" and "New York's rising star of tenor sax." His pioneering voice deftly combines many influences – critics recognize the creative mindset of Wayne Shorter, the energy of John Coltrane, and the elasticity and compositional style of Ornette Coleman and Paul Motian – emerging as something wholly new and yet recognizable. He is rapidly ascending the jazz world ranks as a saxophonist, composer and bandleader.

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Jason studied with Cleveland jazz saxophone legend Ernie Krivda during high school and later performed weekly in Krivda’s big band during college. Rigby earned a Bachelors degree in Music at Youngstown State University in Ohio, graduating summa cum laude. He studied with Tony Leonardi, head of the jazz program and a lauded bass player who toured with Woody Herman in the 1960's. Another important mentor was classical saxophonist Dr. James Umble, a protégé of the legendary French saxophonist Jean-Marie Londiex.

Rigby moved to New York in 1998 and soon after won DownBeat’s award for Best College Instrumentalist while attending Manhattan School of Music. While earning a Masters degree at MSM, he studied privately with Dick Oatts, Rich Perry and Mike Abene.

After appearing as a sideman on Fresh Sound Records releases, Jason was approached by Fresh Sound to record his own music. Rigby’s debut effort, Translucent Space (2006), containing eight Rigby-penned tunes, received numerous accolades. It was listed by Wire Magazine as one of the “Top Jazz and Improv Recordings of 2006” and praised in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Saxophone Journal and other periodicals of note. The CD features Rigby on saxophones, bass clarinet and wood flute, joined by veteran bassist Cameron Brown, Mark Ferber on drums, Mike Holober on piano and Rhodes, and a handful of guests.

With his sophomore release, The Sage (Fresh Sound Records 2008), Rigby put forth new compositions designed to spark group improvisation and creative interplay. The top-notch quintet includes Rigby, Brown and Holober, drummer Gerald Cleaver and trumpeter Russ Johnson. The recording instantly received stellar reviews, as exemplified by Jim Macnie’s piece in The Village Voice: “… the saxophonist’s quintet sustains a daunting finesse while swinging full tilt on the new The Sage. Imagine Miles’ Filles De Kilimanjaro outfit pumping out some Jazz Messengers’ energy.”

Jason’s European record release tour for The Sage in late 2008 was well-received and his dates stateside have been very successful. “With two CDs to his name, Rigby has revealed his artistry and created the hope that there will be more from him in the future.” (Jerry D’Souza, AllAboutJazz New York)

As a leader, Jason Rigby's current projects include a quintet (with trumpeter Russ Johnson, rhodes keyboardist Mike Holober, bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Gerald Cleaver) and a trio (with bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Gerald Cleaver). Rigby is a member of the jazz/indie rock trio HEERNT, with drummer Mark Guiliana and electric bassist Neal Persiani, and he has been recently been touring with bassist / film composer Kyle Eastwood's band.

Since moving to New York Jason Rigby has performed, recorded, and/or toured with Mike Baggetta, David Binney, Randy Brecker, Aretha Franklin, Jeff Hirschfield, David Liebman, Tony Malaby, Eivind Opsvik's Overseas, John Patitucci, John Scofield, George Schuller and Dan Wall. In addition to leading his own bands on record and in venues in the US and Europe, Rigby has performed as a sideman with several large ensembles including Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Alan Ferber's Nonet, Mike Holober’s Gotham Jazz Orchestra, Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra, the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra and the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, among others. Rigby has recorded for the Fresh Sound-New Talent, Koch, Soul Note and Summit record labels.

In addition to his performing efforts, Jason Rigby is an avid educator. Many of his younger students have gone on to attend prestigious music conservatories across the US. He teaches as adjunct faculty at The City College of New York, The New School, and has taught as an adjunct at the Stony Brook University, in addition to maintaining his own private studio in Manhattan. Jason Rigby has appeared as a guest clinician at US universities and internationally.

Firehouse 12 Performances

Mike Baggetta Quartet Friday, October 28, 2011, 10:00p

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