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Kyle Saulnier

Hailed as “a composer and arranger certainly worthy of considerable attention” (Bill Donaldson, Cadence), Kyle Saulnier writes music of dramatic intensity and immediacy, fusing orchestral techniques with modern jazz vocabulary into music described as “lush and inventive” (WNYC), and “fearlessly relevant” (NY Music Daily).

For his Awakening Orchestra, Saulnier has composed two symphonies, a violin concerto, and scores of other compositions in addition to arrangements and orchestrations ranging from Copland to Nine Inch Nails. The orchestra’s debut was called “as rare an achievement as Carla Bley’s Escalator Over the Hill” (All About Jazz), and “a unique and masterful work.” (Cadence Magazine)

Not limited to jazz or avant-garde music, Saulnier has written for the Metropole Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Vermont Symphony, National Geographic Television, BET Awards, and TURNmusic. His catalog includes works for orchestra, big band, and countless combinations of mixed jazz and chamber ensembles.

As a performer, Saulnier specializes on the baritone saxophone and acoustic and electric basses, lending his powerful rhythmic precision and freewheeling harmonic approach to chamber ensembles, jazz groups, and avant-garde collectives. He has been heard in collaboration with distinctive artists and groups such as Moppa Elliott, Nadje Noordhuis, Ray Vega, Russ Kaplan, TURNmusic, the Saturn People’s Sound Collective, and many others.

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”Saulnier is a composer and arranger certainly deserving of considerable attention... Astounding movements release the potential power of the orchestra to claim the listener’s attention through dynamic contrasts, engaging themes and superlative individual contributions... each of them is the successful result of Saulnier’s painstaking attention, passionate commitment and talent deserving of much more attention... While it’s tempting to compare Saulnier’s style of flowing long lines and broad sonic spectrums to Gil Evans’s—certainly not a four-beats-to-the-measure percussive big band feel—Saulnier has developed his own orchestral approach

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Primary Instrument





TEACHING POSITIONS: Northern Vermont University (2020-pres.) | Quinnipiac University (2011-2019) | New England Conservatory (2016-2017) | Bergen Community College (2009-2011)... Available for private composition/theory study at all levels, in-person (post-pandemic) or remote.

Clinic/Workshop Information

Active and available for clinics and masterclasses, specializing in contemporary composition and ensemble direction, with an emphasis in large, cross-genre ensemble work

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Volume II: To Call...

Biophilia Records


Atticus Live!

Biophilia Records


the Awakening...

Innova Recordings


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