Hailey Niswanger (pronounced NICE-wonger)--entering her sophomore year at the Berklee College of Music in Boston where she is studying jazz performance on a full scholarship in the fall of 2009--has an impressive list of accomplishments that reach far beyond the borders of her home in Oregon and well beyond her 19 years. Born February 12, 1990 in Houston, Texas, she has already shared the stage with DeeDee Bridgewater, George Duke, George Garzone, Red Holloway, Terell Stafford, Phil Woods, James Moody, Steve Nelson, Christian McBride, McCoy Tyner, Maceo Parker, Wynton Marsalis, Mark Whitfield and other jazz greats and leads her own quartet that has performed at the Portland Jazz Festival, Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival and other jazz venues around Portland. With the June 2009 release of her recording debut as a leader--the self-produced and self-released CD Confeddie--Hailey is poised to “break out” nationally through U.S. jazz radio promotion and publicity campaigns.
Although she also plays soprano sax, clarinet and flute, Hailey showcases solely her alto sax skills on Confeddie which features a rhythm section composed of fellow Berklee students Michael Palma on piano, Greg Chaplin on bass and Mark Whitfield Jr. on drums. She has delivered an authoritative straight-ahead recording featuring a level of instrumental virtuosity that belies her age on arrangements of modern jazz classics by Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Kenny Dorham and Benny Golson. Hailey also penned the title track whose name is a combination of “confetti,” to convey the festive feeling that permeates the album, and the first name of legendary saxophonist Eddie Harris in whose style it was written.