Born: November 1, 1976 Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
Shawn Maxwell of Aurora, Illinois is an accomplished woodwinds multi-instrumentalist (saxophones, clarinet and flute) professional jazz performer. He is also a teacher, composer, arranger and clinician. Leader of the Shawn Maxwell Quartet, he provides excellence in jazz entertainment in Chicagoland and beyond. Shawn attended Milikin University in Decatur, Illinois and received a Bachelors Degree in Commercial Music in 1999. Since 1999 Shawn has been in high demand. He began his career as an entertainer on a Caribbean cruise line. Since that time he has toured in Sweden, London, Portugal, and Greece. Additionally, he has played with numerous jazz combos at venues throughout greater Chicagoland....
I first encountered saxophonist Shawn Maxwell when a copy of his debut album came into my hands two years ago. My initial reaction was that this artist was rather cocky; his titling of his album as Originals seemed at first to be absurdly audacious; but upon listening to it I discovered to my pleasure that his braggadio was true: he was truly an original in that his music was singularly his own and unattached to any particular genre. An artist in this era who doesn’t bow to trends, movements, short-sighted public attention spans or purely commercial drives and instead follows his own inner voice is rare indeed. Songs like Dangerous Curve, Lunch Box, Clayton’s Carnival and The Sixth presented a glimpse into the highly creative mind of a young man with aspirations and determination in abundance. Therefore, it was with extreme interest that I recently received his second album, Originals II, wherein the original elements that initially attracted me to his sound have not only been retained, but amplified with new weight and texture that speaks of experience gained through steady gigging and composing.
-Brad Walseth of jazzchicago.net (2008)
Maxwell is an energetic yet subtle reedman with a number of years experience in various settings under his belt. He moves fluidly between alto and tenor saxes as well as clarinet and flute showing a hard earned command of the intricacies of each instrument. His solos are exciting and well-conceived
-Brad Walseth of jazzchicago.net (2006)
certainly indicative of a seasoned journeyman jazz artist. This is a jazzer with an original approach to his idiom who is comfortable in the fields of funk, latin, straight ahead, & certainly in the areas of raw improvisational arenas.
-George Caroll the musicians Ombudsman (2006)
An album of fresh material sculpted in a contemporary jazz mode that provides an engaging and entertaining setting. Maxwell steals the lime light with his performance on the reeds. Originals delivers a session of quality music from a premier saxophonist and an excellent supporting cast.
10 Tracks: Dangerous Curve; Iynes Crayons; Inside Back; The Sixth; Clayton's Carnival; Glamasue; No One Bossa; King Bill; Sister Red; Lunch-Box.
Personnel: Shawn Maxwell: alto & tenor saxophones Jakub Rojek: piano Mike Daly: bass Glen Schneider: drums Johanna Mahmud: trombone (tracks 2&7) Ryan Trommer: guitar (track 9)
As a Leader
Dangerous Curve Productions
12 Tracks: Rice; Duck Snort; Insert Title Here; Year Three; Grimlock; Working Dog; Mr. Strongbow; Leather; Storm; Sodor; Zoned Out; Fifth Quarter.
Personnel: Shawn Maxwell: alto saxophone, flute & clarinets Matt Nelson: piano & keyboards Graham Czach: bass Brad Dickert: drums Johanna Mahmud: trombone (track 6) Aaron Koppel: guitar (track 3)
As a Leader
12 Tracks: Maxwell's House; Shuffled; Five; Jathor; Ava; If Only; Welcome; Sector 7-G; Different Colors Of Cool; Dangerous Curve.
Personnel: Shawn Maxwell: alto saxophone Matt Nelson: piano Kevin Martinez: bass Brad Dickert: drums
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North Aurora, IL