John Kocur

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Born: January 18, 1984    Primary Instrument: Sax, alto

John Kocur

”Alto saxophonist John Kocur isn’t called “The Smoker” for nothing. He’s simply one of the finest soloists the D.C. jazz scene has to offer”and, it turns out, one of its most promising composers and bandleaders, too.” -Michael J. West, Washington City Paper

Jazz saxophonist and composer John Kocur is captivating new audiences by putting an adventurous yet accessible spin on a classic tradition. Kocur's compositions have been described as “mainly straight-ahead and clearly influenced by the playing of past masters such as Johnny Hodges and Cannonball Adderley, but they are not simply derivative. The ballads in particular display a maturity in writing and playing” (Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz). While highlighting original music, the Quartet also creates unique interpretations of popular American songs from past and present. The group's style is an intimate, all-acoustic format, where the music takes center stage. Recent performances by the John Kocur Quartet have included venues such as Blues Alley, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the DC Jazz Festival, Twins Jazz, and the Phillips Collection. Kocur's first album, “The Smoker” is available for sale online and at performances. The compilation of all original compositions was WAMMIE-nominated in 2009....
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Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program 2010 - John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Artist in Residence 2008-2009 - Strathmore Performing Arts Center
”...audiences should anticipate a personalized performance from Kocur’s gigs. Kocur smiled, sweated, and joked with the crowd between songs. Kocur and his band played, in more than one sense of the term.” -Chelsea Muth, Fairfax Connection

“Alto saxophonist John Kocur isn’t called “The Smoker” for nothing. He’s simply one of the finest soloists the D.C. jazz scene has to offer”and, it turns out, one of its most promising composers and bandleaders, too.” -Michael J. West, Washington City Paper

“John Kocur's first album as a bandleader is an enjoyable and varied recording, showcasing not only the alto saxophonist's own emerging talent but also those of band mates Amy Bormet on piano, Oliver Albertini on bass and C.V. Dashiell III on drums. “ -Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz

Primary Instrument:
Sax, alto

Fairfax, VA

John is available to teach saxophones, clarinet, and flute. Lessons include classical, jazz, and pop styles. Improvisation and Music Theory can also be included. Call for rates and available times. Education Master's of Music: Jazz Studies. Howard University. Bachelor's of Music Education: K-12 Instrumental Music. Minor: Jazz Studies. George Mason University. Student Teaching Internship: McLean High School & Louise Archer Elementary School Private Instruction from Charlie Young III, Dr. Sais Kamalidiin, Dale Underwood, and Jim Carroll. Participated in workshops by Dave Liebman, Jamey Aebersold, Roy Hargrove, and Jeff Hamilton Teaching Experience Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria Campus - Adjunct Faculty. 2008-present. George Mason University – Adjunct Faculty. Spring 2008. Music and Arts Centers - Private Woodwind Instructor. Sept 2007-Present. Music Lesson Central - Private Music Instructor. 2006-Present Private Saxophone Studio - 2003- Present. Beginner-Advanced, Children -Adult. Howard University Graduate Assistant - Private instruction for undergraduates. 2006-’07 Lectures in Jazz Saxophone given at Howard University and the University of Maryland. Substitute Teacher - Fairfax County Public Schools. General Music, High School Band GMU Jazz Connection Camp Instructor, 2007. Woodwind Camp Instructor: Fairfax, VA Summer 2006, 2007, and 2008. Staff Assistant: Sachem High School Marching Band Summer 2005, Farmingville, NY Guest Clinician with Yorktown High School Jazz Band.

Clinic/Workshop Information:
John Kocur has taught clinics, summer camps, college courses, and given lectures and recitals at major universities. Topics for clinics include Beginning Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Practice Techniques, the Legends of Jazz Saxophone, and Playing in the Sax Section. Clinics can be tailored for all levels of students. Clinics involve live performance, historical recordings, student performances, and handouts.

Keilwerth SX90R Alto Saxophone. Vandoren V16 A7 mouthpiece. Olegature ligature. Vandoren JAVA 3 reeds.

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