Born: November 8, 1976 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
Tenor Saxophonist and composer Michael Webster manages to reside comfortably in the crease of New-York-style instrumental improvisational music while maintaining an eclecticism and sincerity all his own. The same can be said of Webster as of his contemporaries Dave Douglas and Vijay Iyer – that he is not merely a musician but a facilitator of musical collaborations in whole greater than the sum of their parts and that he truly plays not only the horn, but the band.
A native of Ottawa, Canada, and son of a University of Ottawa music professor and a National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada violist, Webster releases his second solo album, Momentus, this year. His first, Leading Lines, received round praise for its sophisticated take on accessible material. Webster is known for his love of Afro- Latin music and extensive collaborations with some of its most luminary exponents, including William Cepeda, Arturo O’Farrill, and John Benitez, and the influence is audible in Leading Lines. Momentus exhibits elements of Webster’s trademark style, but is notably different, building upon the artist’s experience in the intervening years. ...
Awards:Canada Council for the Arts 2002 J.B.C. Watkins Award
Michael Webster's creations are long, unfurling musical journeys chock full of content. Singable melodies come swathed in a background of advanced, modern harmonies and adventurous, challenging rhythms.
- Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen
“Michael Webster has produced a beautiful CD of original music. His ideas as a composer and saxophonist are heartfelt and clear. Keep an eye on him!
- Chris Potter
—————————————————————————————————— A beautifully imaginative record.
- Grammy nominated saxophonist Donny McCaslin, on Leading Lines
- Garry Dial, NYC pianist, on Leading Lines:
The orchestrations are exquisite. The use of strings, woodwinds and brass evokes the genius of Gil Evans and Maria Schneider, while remaining true to a unique and personal voice. It is difficult to make a fully orchestrated and arranged large ensemble CD without losing the essence of the jazz soloist's improvisation. Once again, here Michael hits a home run. His saxophone solos would stand alone powerfully in the jazz quartet even without the beautiful orchestrations behind him. —————————————————————————————————— TAXI - The World's Leading Independent A and R Company, on “Horizons”:
The track sounds amazing... a first rate ensemble, with all the players contributing strong performances. The multifaceted scoring is quite impressive, especially the intriguing textures achieve[d] between the string[s] and traditional jazz instruments. String voicings and articulations in the lyrical interlude are wonderfully evocative...solo sounds excellent as well.
OA2 Records (OA2-22095)
Tracks: 1.First Sunrise; 2.Train Song; 3.Indecision; 4.Beam Me Up; 5.Introspective; 6.Momentus; 7.Erica's Song; 8.Train Song Reprise; 9.Simple Wish.
Personnel: Ingrid Jensen: trumpet; Chris Dingman: vibraphone; Jesse Lewis: guitar; Ike Sturm: bass; Jared Schonig: drums; Michael Webster: tenor saxophone/compositions.
Tracks: 1. Integrity; 2.Perspective; 3.Psalm; 4.Seven Seas; 5.New Moon; 6.Oneman's Blues; 7.Leading Lines; 8.Horizons; 9.Reverence.
Personnel: John Benitez: bass; Michael Rodriguez: trumpet; Erica vonKleist: alto/soprano sax, flute; Gordon Webster: piano; Obed Calvaire: drums; Ben Griffin: trombone; Jesse Lewis: guitar; Adam Czerepinski: trumpet; Carl Maraghi, baritone sax/bass clarinet; Michael Webster: tenor sax, clarinet, composer, arranger. Michelle Farah: oboe; Samantha Brenner: bassoon; Aaron Korn: french horn. Earl Maneein, Brett O'Mara: violins; Marla Hansen, Johanna Beaver: violas; Jessie Reagen: cello; Dan Loomis: double bass.
As A Side Musician
William Cepeda's International Quintet
Tracks: 1. Unity; 2. Entre Nos; 3. Beautiful You; 4. El Coco #9; 5. Will You; 6. Y Si Llegan; 7. Yodo; 8. Postiude;
Personnel: William Cepeda: trombone, shells; Michael Webster: tenor/alto sax; Uli Geissendoerfer: piano, keyboards; Pedro Giraudo: bass; Andre Patrick Forero: drums; Abdou Mboup: percussion.
Sleight of Hand
Sherisse Rogers's Project Uprising
Tracks: 1. Sleight of Hand; 2. Brother Ernesto-featuring Dave Liebman 3. East of the Sun 4. Time Remebered 5. For One's Lost-feat. Donny McCaslin 6. Chacagliatu 7. Transitions (for Big Band and String Quartet) featuring Joel Frahm 8. Blue Skies
Featuring Dave Liebman: soprano sax; Donny McCaslin, Joel Frahm: tenor saxes.
Personnel: Erica von Kleist, Aaron Irwin, Jeremy Fletcher: alto/soprano sax, flute; Felipe Salles, Michael Webster: tenor sax, clarinet; Kurt Bacher: bari sax, bass clarinet; Nathan Warner, Adam Czerepinski, Nadje Noordhuis, Laurie Frink: trumpets;Luis Bonilla,Tokunori "Kaji" Kajiwara, Christian Pincock, Ben Griffin, Max Siegel: trombones; Jesse Stacken: piano; Jesse Lewis: guitar; Fraser Hollins: Bass; Jorge Amorim: Percussion; Obed Calvaire: drums; Nathan Hetherington, Charenee Wade, Yoon Choi: vocals; Rob Moose, Laura Arpienen: violins; Karissa Antonacci: viola; Jody Redhage: cello.
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Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Taught private lessons for 10 years in saxophone, composition, arranging and Finale. On faculty at the New York Jazz Academy since 2009.