Mitch Kessler was born in Cheverly, Maryland, USA in 1960 and raised in New York City. He began playing saxophone at age 13 and studied in New York with Billy Kerr. Mitch later studied with the legendary Joe Allard (whose students included, among others, Eric Dolphy and Michael Brecker) at the New England Conservatory of Music. There, he also came in contact with the great Jaki Byard, with whom he performed on several occasions and studied arranging. Mitch also studied composition there with William Thomas McKinley.
Mitch later chose a different path, pursuing a career as a lawyer. He never gave up playing Jazz. In recent years he has formed a beneficial musical partnership with pianist/composer John Esposito. That partnership led to the production and recent release of Mitch's debut album, Erratica, issued on John Esposito's Sunjump Records label. Erratica features original compositions by Mitch, as well as the members of the John Esposito trio (Esposito, bassist Ira Coleman, and drummer Peter O'Brien.
1930 Selmer alto saxophone ("Cigar Cutter"), Beechler No. 6 mouthpiece, Van Doren ZZ reeds.
1935 Conn 10M tenor saxophone ("Half Naked Lady"), Otto Link 7* metal mouthpiece, Van Doren ZZ reeds.
1976 Yanigasawa soprano saxophone, Selmer mouthpiece, Van Doren reeds.
MITCH KESSLER With JOHN ESPOSITO/IRA COLEMAN/PETER O'BRIEN - Erratica (Sunjump CD 07; USA) Featuring Mitch Kessler on alto & tenor saxes & compositions, John Esposito on piano, Ira Coleman on bass and Peter O'Brien on drums. Sunjump mainman & jazz pianist extraordinaire, John Esposito, continues to release great discs with musicians known and unknown. I hadn't heard of the leader, altoi/tenor saxist Mitch Kessler - this disc is his debut, recorded in '08 - and was surprised how strong a player and composer he is. The Sixth Marx Brother begins with a strong unaccompanied solo tenor intro which is breathtaking