axophonist/composer JONATHAN ROWDEN was born in Los Angeles, and raised along the west coast from Seattle to Orange County. Currently residing in the eastern Los Angeles area, his quartet's debut in 2013 he has quickly gained a reputation as one of the foremost younger creative-music artists in the diverse LA jazz and creative-music scene. Drawing from his eclectic taste and background in classical music and new music, he aims to create music that spans beyond traditional genres under the jazz umbrella, and explores new territory. His melodic lyricism, rhythmic acuity, and a fiery passion for group improvisation takes listeners on a journey beyond listening, and to more deeply engaging in the moment. His quartet, THE JONATHAN ROWDEN GROUP is an instrumental quartet at whose aesthetic core is a honed interplay between structured, original composition and free improvisation that rides a tumultuous continuum from serene, spiritual calmness to brutalizing intensity, and has quickly deemed them to be among Los Angeles’ most distinctive, cohesive, and original new voices. His debut album featuring the Jonathan Rowden Group BECOMING was released (LP, CD, mp3) on the Los Angeles-based boutique label Orenda Records on May 27th, 2014 and is receiving acclaim from listeners and critics alike. Downbeat Magazine reviewed it, giving 3 Stars for Becoming stating: [it] is a mix of unabashed emotionality, compositional breadth and occasional flights of free-ish fancy...is more than the sum of a series of unconnected parts, but rather plays out like a suite-minded structural grand plan...adding up to an intriguing introductory mission statement from a West Coaster with something fresh to say and play. His second album with the JRG is slated for a mid/2016 release.
Read more articles
“Los Angeles-based saxophonist and bandleader Jonathan Rowden is making some
notable noise as a worthy player and conceptualist...a West Coaster with something
fresh to say and play.” - Josef Woodard, Downbeat Magazine
“[Rowden] adds his own expertise on extended saxophone techniques to create an
aural experience which transcends the conventional to a place of abstract emotion
and meaning. - Gary Fukushima, LA Weekly
“The Los Angeles jazz scene has no shortage of prodigious talent; tenor
saxophonist Jonathan Rowden definitely belongs to this society.” - Paul Naser, AAJ
“When Rowden [expresses] himself on tenor, it’s a purposeful, streaming outflow of
notes with the tone of Ben Webster but the composed passion of Joe Henderson” -
Join the staff. Writers Wanted!
Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.