All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Patrick Cornelius

Patrick Cornelius Patrick Cornelius

After 18 years in New York City, alto saxophonist and composer Patrick Cornelius has cultivated a substantial body of work as a composer and bandleader, and performed his original music in some of the world’s top jazz venues. Hailed as “self-assured” and “resourceful” by The New York Times, “Elegant” and “Extraordinary” by DownBeat Magazine (in whose annual Critics Poll he has been listed among the “Rising Stars” multiple times), and “Bold and Gifted,” by All About Jazz, Cornelius’ discography of six albums as a leader (and two as co-leader) features established masters (like Jeff Ballard and Frank Kimbrough) as well as rising stars (including Gerald Clayton, Kendrick Scott, and Miles Okazaki).

As a composer, Cornelius has earned an array of awards and commissions, including four consecutive ASCAP “Young Composer Awards,” (now Herb Alpert Award) and Chamber Music America’s “New Jazz Works” in 2012, and has been commissioned to compose and arrange original music for ensembles across the globe. Cornelius’ latest album, This Should Be Fun (Posi-Tone 2019) sees him coming to terms with who he is as a musician, and embracing his own aesthetic after a career of being many things at once. He is joined on the album by veteran musicians Ben Allison, John Escreet, Nick Vayenas, and Mark Ferber.

An active music pedagogue, Patrick (who received a Bachelor’s Degree from Berklee College of Music, a Masters Degree from The Manhattan School of Music, and an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School), has appeared as visiting artist or guest lecturer at many international institutions, including The Royal Academy, the Birmingham Conservatoire, Guildhall, Hull University, Trinity College, and Edinburgh University in the United Kingdom, St

Read more


Album Review
Album Review
Read more articles
“Patrick Cornelius has devoted the bulk of his second recording to original works. The seven examples given here show a dusky elegance that owes much to Wayne Shorter while retaining a unique identity.” — Forrest Dylan Bryant, JazzTimes

“...Enjoyable, clever music, which does interesting things with what it inherits from the jazz tradition... Well-schooled music, but music played with feeling, commitment and imagination,” — Glyn Pursglove, MusicWeb international

“...In an impressive debut by one of the new young lions of jazz, Patrick Cornelius crafts a captivating and engaging recording..

Read more

Primary Instrument

Saxophone, alto


New York City


    BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, full scholarship, graduated 2000, Magna Cum Laude
    MM in Jazz Studies, Manhattan School of Music, full scholarship, graduated 2006, Summa Cum Laude
    Artist Diploma in Jazz Studies, The Juilliard School, full scholarship, graduated 2011
    Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance (1999)
    Studied with George Garzone, Hal Crook, Dick Oatts, Shannon LeClaire, Garry Dial, Justin DiCioccio, Ron Blake, Kenny Barron, Carl Allen, Rodney Jones, Greg Hopkins, Billy Pierce

    Music faculty in saxophone at PolyPrep Country School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
    Given private saxophone (all levels), jazz improvisation (all levels), flute (beginners), and piano (beginners) Since 1997 in Boston, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Washington DC, New York
    Visiting artist in jazz and saxophone at St. Mary’s University (TX), UTSA (TX), Texas State University (TX), Royal Academy of Music (London), Edinburgh University (Scotland)
    Workshops and clinics in jazz at public schools in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Antonio, London, Jersey City
    Published author on jazz improvisation in Saxophone Journal

Clinic/Workshop Information

Read more



Album Acadia: Way Of The Cairns by Patrick Cornelius

Acadia: Way Of The...

Whirlwind Recordings

Album This Should Be Fun by Patrick Cornelius

This Should Be Fun

Posi-Tone Records

Album While We’re Still Young by Patrick Cornelius

While We’re Still...

Whirlwind Recordings

Album Infinite Blue by Patrick Cornelius

Infinite Blue

Whirlwind Recordings

Album Maybe Steps by Patrick Cornelius

Maybe Steps

Posi-Tone Records

Album Fierce by Patrick Cornelius


Whirlwind Recordings

Christmas Gift

Christmas Gift

Patrick Cornelius
Maybe Steps



Dave Liebman Dave Liebman
saxophone, soprano
Gretchen Parlato Gretchen Parlato
voice / vocals
Walter Smith III Walter Smith III
saxophone, tenor
Joel Frahm Joel Frahm
saxophone, tenor
Charles Davis Charles Davis
Bob Reynolds Bob Reynolds
saxophone, tenor
Dino Govoni Dino Govoni
saxophone, tenor
Tia Fuller Tia Fuller
Brian VanArsdale Brian VanArsdale
saxophone, tenor
Dick Oatts Dick Oatts
saxophone, alto
Arun Luthra Arun Luthra
Jeremy Zmuda Jeremy Zmuda
guitar, electric
Jeff Antoniuk Jeff Antoniuk
saxophone, tenor

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.