Dan Wilensky

Dan Wilensky was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and moved to Berkeley the following year. Music was in the air at the Wilensky house: every family member played at least one instrument, and family jam sessions were frequent. He began piano lessons at age 8 and saxophone the following year after hearing the Duke Ellington Orchestra perform at Berkeley High School on a field trip. Dan flourished in the rich school music program created by Herb Wong, Dick Whittington, and Phil Hardymon, and also studied with BHS grad Steve Elson, and his teacher, Hal Stein. As a teenager, he street played, performed with schoolmates Benny Green, Craig Handy and Steve Bernstein, gigged with local bands, attended jazz clinics, won top honors in various competitions, performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival three times, and was a guest soloist with the Woody Herman Orchestra. When he was 17, Dan studied for a year with lazz legend ((Joe Henderson}}, and received a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music.

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”Four top jazz players and a great discovery.” — Jürg Sommer Der Sonntag (February, 2012)

“From the quirky, laidback blues “Reckless Tongue” to the alluring, Spanish-flavored “Exotikiss” and the edgy rubato number “Certain Nights,” fueled by Phelps’ audacious, distortion-laced guitar lines, they cover a lot of musical ground while exhibiting uncanny group empathy.”

— Bill Milkowski Jazz Times (October, 2011)

. . . Wilensky's individuality can be heard with his first notes. His sound is bright, crisp, and completely relaxed in all registers. His lines are direct, to the point, and completely his own; he just does not sound like anyone else. – Saxophone Journal (March, 2011)

“A master class on composition, interpretation, performance, practice and repertoire selection

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Primary Instrument



Portland, OR

Willing to teach



I've been teaching saxophone and piano for 33 years. Many of my students, including Joshua Redman, Craig Handy, and Chris Byars, have gone on to true greatness. All ages and levels welcome; music therapy; flexible hours; same rates as 1977!

Clinic/Workshop Information

Riveting and fun as all hell!

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