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Geof Bradfield

Geof Bradfield was born in Houston, TX, to a musical family. His father and uncle played classical flute and piano at family gatherings, and his mother and stepfather, both amateur musicians, introduced him to jazz and R&B through a vinyl collection that ranged from Art Tatum to Miles Davis to Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway. As a student first at the renowned High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and later at DePaul University and Cal Arts, he refined and developed this foundation. After intervals in New York and Washington, Bradfield settled in Chicago in 2004. He has been fortunate to work alongside many jazz luminaries and to perform throughout the United States and Europe. He has also toured Russia, Africa and the Middle East with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad. Bradfield is featured on numerous recordings, including his own critically acclaimed CDs African Flowers, named one of the top 10 CDs of 2010 by the Los Angeles Times, and Melba!, selected as one of the best CDs of 2013 by DownBeat Magazine. As a composer, Bradfield has received commissions from Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and grants and fellowships from DCASE, the Illinois Arts Council, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Bradfield is also a committed educator; he is currently Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University.

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“Like I said man, you’ve been chosen. You don’t know that. The African Ancestors chose you. When you truly love your ancestors, with true love, they will guide you and they will touch you no matter where you are on the planet earth. You can be in Stockholm, you can be in Mississippi, you can be in Rio de Janeiro, when the ancestral spirits touch you, you have to respond. So they got you!” – Randy Weston

Voted Rising Star Arranger, 2015 Downbeat Critics Poll

Press for Melba!

“A heartfelt tribute and an impressive statement.” **** Downbeat Magazine

“Randy Weston gives saxophonist and clarinetist Bradfield his blessing in the album’s liner notes, and the acclaim is deserved…Bradfield and a sympathetic group expound on each theme with elan and intelligence

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Chicago, IL

Willing to teach

Advanced only


Currently Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone at Northern Illinois University, Geof Bradfield has extensive experience as an educator. Since completing his MFA at California Institute of the Arts, he has held positions at several colleges and universities as well as teaching master classes in topics ranging from improvisation to the history of American music in the twentieth century to jazz composition and saxophone technique. He has toured Africa, the Middle East and Russia through Jazz at Lincoln Center's "The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad" program as a performer and clinician.

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