Quinsin Nachoff

Quinsin Nachoff

Instrument: Saxophone | Location: New York City

4.5 stars. "Path of Totality is a stunning, deep dive of an album, the sort of music in which one could spend hours submersed."
—– J.D. Considine, DownBeat, February 2019

Updated: January 26, 2019

Born: December 21, 1973

NYC-based composer and saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff has earned a reputation for making “pure, bracing, thought-provoking music” that is “cliché-and convention-free” (Ottawa Citizen). Since moving from his native Toronto to New York City, Nachoff has made a habit of freely crossing borders: his music moves fluidly between the jazz and classical worlds and manages to be soul-stirring at the same time that it is intricately cerebral. His passions reach into both the arts and the sciences, with concepts from physics or astronomy sparking inspiration for exhilarating compositions. That state of constant unpredictability is vividly captured in both the name and the music of Nachoff’s remarkable group Flux, which thrives in the spaces between genres, styles and inspirations. But Nachoff was already blurring the lines between composition and improvisation on his 2006 debut, Magic Numbers, which paired a jazz rhythm section with a string quartet and was heralded as “one of the most innovative chamber jazz recordings in recent years” by All About Jazz. Since that time Nachoff has found success in both worlds. In November 2018 he’ll premiere a new Violin Concerto, his first String Quartet (commissioned by Quebec’s Molinari String Quartet) and a new large ensemble piece in Montreal. These are the latest additions to a growing catalogue of compositions for a variety of diverse ensembles

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For Flux, Path of Totality:

4.5 stars. “Path of Totality is a stunning, deep dive of an album, the sort of music in which one could spend hours submersed.” – J.D. Considine, DownBeat, February 2019

4.5 stars. “an imaginative and ground breaking suite of compositions” – Roger Farbey, AllAboutJazz, January 2019

For Flux (self-titled debut):

★★★★ “...an intensity and modernity, a brashness and in-your-face confidence of delivery.” —Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

“Marked by an impenetrable unity, 'Flux' overflows with great resourcefulness, becoming a distinct echo of modernity and inspiration.” —Critic Pick, JazzTrail

★★★★ “The quartet's self-command is engaged in a battle with each individual player's sense of freedom, making for that agitation that marks all great music.” —Mark Corroto All About Jazz

★★★★ “...the quartet projects a cunning musical personality as large and small surprises trickle through the seams on a recurring basis...”, —Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz

Primary Instrument



New York City

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


MMus, University of Toronto (2007) BMus Honours, University of Toronto (1997) Teaching @ University of Toronto (2004-2008) (Improvisation, Ensembles, Private Lessons) Teaching @ Humber University, Toronto (2007-2008) (Improvisation, Private Lessons) Teaching @ York University, Toronto (2002-2003) (Private Lessons)

John Surman John Surman
Oliver Lake Oliver Lake
Charles Tyler Charles Tyler
saxophone, baritone

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Quinsin Nachoff Albums