Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
Saxophonist Bryan Murray’s mature conception of music distinguishes him as both a performer and as a composer. His music has a unique sensibility, focusing simply on caliber of ideas and timelessness of melody. He is firmly rooted in an improvisational and communicative tradition, but remains open to all styles of music, resulting in a sound that draws from all genres and defies categorization. Most importantly, his work retains the sense of joy that initially attracted both performers and appreciators to music: he plays because he loves to; and that love speaks, loud and clear, to his audience.
Bryan was born and raised in Nitro, West Virginia, where he began studying and playing professionally at a young age with local guitarist/bassist Chuck Biel. Bryan then pursued his musical studies at the University of Kentucky with Miles Osland. He was a member of the Downbeat award winning ensemble Mega Sax, which made several recordings on the Seabreeze Jazz label. Upon completion of his Bachelor of Music, he continued his education and obtained a Masters in Jazz Studies at DePaul University under the instruction of Mark Colby. While attending DePaul, Bryan performed with Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, Nicholas Payton, and recorded a live CD with Tom Harrell. Bryan was also a member in the Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra and is featured on their recording “Labor of Love.” While in Chicago, Bryan had the opportunity to study with tenor greats Joe Lovano and Rick Margitza. Bryan spent four years in Chicago working as a private instructor and freelance musician before moving to New York.
Since moving to Brooklyn, New York in 2002, Bryan has established a strong presence in the New York music scene, leading his own quartet as well as his avant-jazz/country band “Bryan and the Haggards.” He is also currently performing and recording with many ensembles including Jon Lundbom and Big Five Chord, the Nick Russo Quintet, and the Aaron Irwin Group. Since moving to New York, he has studied with saxophonists Rich Perry and Chris Cheek, and has performed at numerous venues including 55 Bar, Blue Note, Jazz Gallery, CBGB’s Underground Lounge, and the Knitting Factory.
Bryan has performed with: Aaron Irwin Group, Brian O'Hern Big Band, Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, Jon Lundbom and Big Five Chord, Louie Belson, Michael Bates Tamarind, Microtonacity, Mike Fahie Orchestra, Nick Russo Quintet, Peter Van Huffel Quintet, Ray Charles, Rick Parker's Jazz Collective, Sherisse Rogers Jazz Orchestra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.