Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Long-time member of the Grammy nominated Either/Orchestra (Matt Wilson, John Mediski and Miguel Zenon among other alumni), Udden recorded three albums with the band and toured Europe, Africa, and around the US a number of times. Twenty records to his credit as a sideman (Accurate, CIMP, Creative Nation Music, Fresh Sound New Talent, Innova) with projects in the jazz, avante-garde, rock, pop, and world music genres, has helped give his music a wealth of texture and invention (Terrell Kent Holmes, All About Jazz).
A Boston native and Brooklyn resident, Udden performs his Torchsongs project frequently around New York, the Northeast, and in the past year the West Coast, China, and Scandinavia. His newer Plainville features a more folk-influenced twist, finding a niche on bills with country and folk groups as well as jazz.
Winner of the 2003 Fish-Middleton Jazz Competition in Washington, D.C. and a 2005 ASCAP Young Composer Award finalist, he recently performed at Carnegie Hall's Merkin Hall with Joe Lovano, Dave Leibman and Irene Aebi in tribute to Steve Lacy, and as a guest soloist with Gunther Schuller and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston at Harvard's Sanders Theater.
Udden also performs with Dominique Eade, the Jazz Composer's Alliance, Monika Heidamann, i am the color of dead leaves, Andy Green, Sofia Koutsovitis, Michael Winnograd's Infection, Bruno Raberg and Mulatu Estatke. Over the years, he has shared the stage or studio with Mahmoud Ahmed, Steve Lacy, The Presidents of the United States of America, Juliana Hatfield, Sam Rivers, Maria Schnieder, the Miracle Orchestra, Darcy James Argue, Charlie Kolhase, Tony Malaby, Bill McHenry, John McNeil, John Hollenbeck, to name a few and too many wonderful musicians in New York, Boston, California, Sweden, Italy, Maine, Washington, China, Portugal and Africa to name.
Originally from Plainville, Massachusetts, Udden started playing the saxophone at age 10, and began performing regularly on the Boston club scene at 15 with Big Lick, an eight-piece ska/punk band with two albums and a few US tours to its credit. In high school he was also a member of the All-American Grammy Band. In 1996 he moved to Boston to study with Allan Chase, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Paul Bley, Charlie Banacos, Steve Lacy, Danilo Perez, Fred Hersch, and Bob Brookmeyer at the New England Conservatory. He joined the E/O before graduating and later moved to New York in 2005.
With his beautiful, round soprano tone, saxophonist Udden lends a haunting sheen to tunes spanning the soothingly melodic to the jaggedly free. --Modern Drummer
...echoes of reedman Jimmy Giuffre on those early tracks, in their calm, quiet accessibility... The package coheres nicely, and shows a side of Udden not much on display with the Either/Orchestra - one both cooler and more pop-oriented. --Bill Beuttler, Boston Globe
No longhair abstract jazz purist, Udden's music comes across as melodic and accessible. --Rick Foster, The Sun Chronicle
After the acoustic-jazz openers, the album takes a sharp left turn on 'Fish Lake' with two electric guitars (Tim Miller and Ben Monder) and Fender Rhodes keyboard (Leo Genovese). With it's broad, majestic guitar chords and emphatic backbeat, it's one of the albums standouts. --Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix
The Boston soprano player has earned kudos in New England, impressing Either/Orchestra fans with a lithe sound and insightful solos. His Torchsongs is a small wonder, full of color and daring. --Jim Macnie, Village Voice
A hush settles as Jeremy Udden, with that unearthly tone of his, takes a solo with just pianist Greg Burk and some quiet drumming behind him. The solo is quite abstract and could easily be accepted as advanced jazz. The percussion starts coalescing and the tension rises, Udden starts playing multiphonics, the band plays interjections behind him, and the music on the pedal point reaches an almost excruciating tension until the main tune reappears again to wild applause. --Budd Kopman, All About Jazz
..the furiously pased 'Fast Edd'...was absolutely made by the seemingly unquenchable sound of Jeremy Udden (small man, big sound!) on alto saxophone. --Philip Songa, The Moniter (Kampala, Uganda)
...Yezemed Yebada had E/O venturing past cross-cultural research to forge a triad of Latin grooves over which alto player Jeremy Udden soloed in near-rapture... --Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat Magazine
Udden revealed keen instincts...underplaying or hitting hard at the right moments. --Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe
...Jeremy Udden's alto sax solo set a tropical mood, prompting one woman in a red satin skirt to wiggle onto the dance floor. --Larry Appelbaum, JazzTimes
His gift is quite rare. He has his own approach, with a clearly and rapidly growing development taking shape...leading perhaps, to an important synthesis of styles, and a highly personal improvising language. --Steve Lacy
...[Udden] is among the best players in town... --Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix
Udden has a touch of Ornette grafted onto contemporary chromatic modalities and a little of the tone of Lee Konitz. --Grego Applegate Edwards, Cadence Magazine
His playing is full of surprises and passion. Jeremy is very creative and is developing a personal approach from a variety of models. --Russ Gershon, Accurate Records
"With audiences, fellow musicians, or students, it's all the same. It's about sharing music and putting something good into the world, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do this every day." --Jeremy Udden An experienced educator, Jeremy Udden has given clinics with the Either/Orchestra at the Yared Music School (Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia), The Jazz School (Yaroslavl, Russia), University of Vermont, Keen State College, Lawrence University, University of Iowa, Cleveland State University, and Webster University. He has given clinics on improvisation at the King Philip Regional High School and Blackstone-Millville Regional High School, and has been a guest ensemble and classroom teacher at the University of Rhode Island, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Longy School of Music, and Emerson College. A Jazz Faculty member at the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School in Boston from 2000-2005, Udden currently teaches at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights, and is a regular faculty member of the Maine Jazz Camp. He has taught jazz privately and in schools for 12 years. A graduate of the New England Conservatory (BM, MM Jazz Performance with a "Concentration in Education), Udden studied with Steve Lacy, Charlie Banacos, Jerry Bergonzi, Allan Chase, Bob Brookmeyer, Danilo Perez, Paul Bley, Fred Hersch, George Garzone, Lee Konitz, and George Russell.