Born: February 4, 1977 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
Chris Cuzme is known throughout New York City for his tireless energy and inexhaustible creativity. With sensitive melodic ingenuity and a rich, bold saxophone tone with which to deliver it, he has been known to hypnotize listeners into overwhelming joy and make them weep without fully understanding why. Audience members have likened their listening experiences to being struck by a velvet hammer, and being told something they've always known in words they've never heard before. Performers have likened playing with Cuzme to performing with an extremely passionate, far less monotonous, and infinitely more sensitive Energizer Bunny.
Cuzme attended the world-renowned Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan* and continued his musical education at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. He studied under the direction of Bill Sears, Kenny Burrell, Rufus Reid, Gary Smulyan, Don Braden, Norman Simmons, John Riley, and Steve Wilson among others.
Chris Cuzme currently resides in Brooklyn and performs throughought the NY metropolitan area with The Chris Cuzme What Not, Jojo Kuo's Afrobeat Collective, Chris Cuzme's Silent But Violent Arkestra, Chris Berry and PANJEA, Spokinn Movement, Amayo's Fu Arkestra, Global Illage (nominated for “Best Jazz Performers of the Year 2001” by Philadelphia City Paper), X-ceptional Outcome (XO), as well as working with countless others as a sideman. As a saxophonist he has played, performed and recorded with such diverse musical luminaries as John Hicks, Steve Neil, James Spaulding, Rufus Reid, Roger Humphries, Joe Williams, Fred Wesley and the JB’s, Ryan Adams, Guster, Ari Hoenig, Ursula Rucker, Jamaladeen Tacuma, Slick Rick, Chico Mendoza, The Platters and countless others. Cuzme is influenced primarily by the saxophone stylings of Archie Schepp, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Dewey Redman, Charlie Parker, Paul Gonzalves, Harry Carney, Alber Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, John Coltrane, Lester Young and Dexter Gordon.
Awards:Young Artist's Award, Interlochen Arts Academy 1994
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.