Born: January 1, 1999 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
South Florida saxophonists Gary Keller, Gary Lindsay, Ed Calle, and Mike Brignola have created a contemporary sound unique among saxophone quartets. Led by the award winning writing of Lindsay and Calle, the group explores the realms of Jazz, Pop, Latin, R&B, and chamber music, performing both originals and their own arrangements of songs from a diverse array of musical legends, including John Coltrane, Paul Simon, Pat Metheny, James Taylor, Thad Jones, and Chucho Valdez. The quartet appears frequently with special guests such as Arturo Sandoval, Jon Secada, the Bergonzi String Quartet, Glen Basham, Chuck Bergeron, David Hardman, Phillip Strange, Richard Bravo, James Gasior, and Jason Carder. A testament to the flexibility and wide-ranging appeal of the saxophone, the quartet's perfromances appeal to audiences of all ages and persuaions.
Gary Keller, the founder of the Miami Saxophone Quartet, has toured/recorded/performed with a wide diversity of jazz artists and ensembles including The Jaco Pastorius Big Band, Maria Schneider, Jim McNeely, David Liebman, Manny Album, Kenny Werner, Billy Hart, Chico O’Farrill, Kenny Wheeler, Clare Fischer, Woody Herman, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Ira Sullivan, Jaco Pastorius, and the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band. He has also performed/recorded with the Florida Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and the American Jazz Philharmonic. His debut CD “Blues For An Old New Age” on Double-time records has garnered critical praise, including a three and one half star award from prestigious Penguin Guide to Recorded Jazz. Gary is currently Professor of Saxophone at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1982.
As an arranger, Gary Lindsay’s pop music credits include Jose Feliciano, Gloria Estefan, Jaci Velasquez, Julio Iglesias, Christina Aguilera, Michael Bolton and many more. Jazz writing credits include the Maynard Ferguson Band, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Arturo Sandoval, the Atlantean Driftwood Band, the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band and Studio Orchestra, as well as commissions for the US Air Force “Airmen of Note.” The Arturo Sandoval album “I Remember Clifford” garnered him a Grammy nomination in jazz arranging. Gary’s extensive writing for the Miami Saxophone Quartet includes both original compositions and arrangements of pieces by prominent artists.
In addition to the Miami Saxophone Quartet, Gary has performed with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Henry Mancini, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Mathis, Mike and Randy Brecker, Arturo Sandoval, Jaco Pastorius and others. He has performed as a featured jazz soloist with the Florida Philharmonic and the Naples Philharmonic. Gary is Professor of Music and Director of the Studio/Jazz Writing program and DMA program in Jazz Composition at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where he has been teaching for 25 years. He is a recipient of an NEA grant in jazz composition.
Two time Latin Grammy nominee Ed Calle needs little introduction. One of the world’s top recording saxophonists, he has been featured on hundreds of recordings by today’s top artists in the Pop, Jazz, and Latin idioms. His credits include such diverse artists as Frank Sinatra, Ricky Martin, and Lenny Kravitz, to name but a few. Calle’s solo albums include Nightgames (Epic), Double Talk (Sony), Sunset Harbor (Concord), Twilight (Concord), Ed Calle Plays Santana (Universal), In the Zone (Union), and I Wish It Would Snow on Christmas Day (Union). Ed writes frequently for the quartet, including his original pieces Rice and Beans, The Iberia Suite, and Dancing On a Cloud. He is currently on the faculty of Miami Dade College.
Mike Brignola, one of the world's great baritone saxophone and bass clarinet players, has been a member of the Miami Saxophone Quartet since its inception in 1996. During his 25-year performing career he has played in a wide variety of musical settings as a jazz soloist, ensemble player, and recording artist. Mike played with jazz legend Woody Herman for the last seven years of Woody's career as a big band leader. Playing the same chair in Woody's four brothers sax section formerly occupied by the legendary Serge Challof, Mike was an integral part of Woody's 1980's Herds, appearing on numerous concerts, festivals, recordings, and club gigs totaling over one thousand performances worldwide. During the past decade Mike has continued as the road manager and personnel director of the Woody Herman Orchestra. A resident of Fort Lauderdale Florida, Mike is active as a guest soloist, clinician and educator.
Awards:Ed Calle - 2 Latin Grammy Nominations Gary Lindsay - Grammy Nomination Bob Parlocha's best of 2008
...as one might expect, the results are simply dazzling..Another magnificent work by the MSQ on a project that continues to offer creative and stimulating varieties of balance, tone color and shades. Steve Frattalone, Jazz Connection Magazine
The MSQ is very much into rich tonal colors and intricate harmonic schemes interlaced with suitable improvisations. There's nothing on this well-designed and superbly performed concert date that is less than rewarding. If saxophone quartets push your button or light your fire, you can't go wrong with this one. Jack Bowers, allaboutjazz.com (read entire review)
When I first heard the Miami Saxophone Quartet's 2002 debut album, Take Four Giant Steps, I was knocked out by their sound. Hearing their new release, Live! (Fourtitude Records), I'm more than Knocked out. I feel like I'm in the presence of the Divine... Stephen Fratallone, Jazz Connection Magazine
Hugely gifted sax men Gary Keller, Gary Lindsay, Ed Calle and Mike Brignola follow last year's extraordinary Take Four Giant Steps CD with this live session recorded at the University of Miami's Gusman Hall and guest-starring area talents such as pianist Phil Strange and bassist Chuck Bergeron. Lindsay once again takes top honors for his stellar arrangements of tunes ranging from Pat Metheny's Sunlight to Thad Jones' A Child Is Born. A brilliant reprise of John Coltrane's Giant Steps is worth the purchase price alone. Bob Weinberg, Ft Lauderdale Sun Sentinel/City Link
Beautiful arrangements and playing on all! Miami Saxophone Quartet Live is on Jim Wilke's list of Best Jazz CDs of 2003 Jim Wilke, Jazz After Hours (Public Radio International)
The quartet's open and fervent approach is felt on every composition as each musician performs through complex arrangements with tight interplay. John Coltrane's classic jazz piece Giant Steps... is uniquely recreated with multiple horn lines and impressive solos. The horns are always lush and probing, conveying oneness... an awe-inspiring rendition of America the Beautiful ... saxophone nirvana. Mark F Turner, allaboutjazz.com (click here for entire review)
Phrasing, shaping, and contrast are paramount here, and the performance is varied and powerful. I truly enjoyed this CD. Bob Mintzer
....the art of the Miami Saxophone Quartet was divine. Javier Ortiz, allaboutJazz.com (click here for entire review)
This is the hottest group to surface lately from the mix that is the Miami music scene. Each concert is a 'tour de sax.' John E. Brown, Biscayne Bay Tribune
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Inspire your band! The Miami Saxophone Quartet will play a short set, followed by a hands on workshop for your saxophone section/big band/combo. All elements of music will be addressed: rhythm, tone, blend, phrasing, improvisation, and stage presence. For saxophone clinics, the quartet covers all the fundamentals and the pro's "tricks of the trade". Visit www.miamisaxqartet.com for testimonials from band directors.