My name is Austin Zhang and I marry vulnerability and sound.

Jazz

I am me is my coming-of-age record. It closes a youthful chapter marked by insecurity and uncertainty and depicts a more mature Austin. One that has begun to see previous "weaknesses" as "voice". My playing has always contained some amount of frailty. Hearing the monstrous, flawless playing of saxophonists like Cannonball Adderley or Michael Brecker has always intimidated me. Now I feel in this modern day of perfectly molded social media narratives perhaps a dose of real, raw, and blemished is exactly what we need.

Purchase available exclusively through Bandcamp

Preview of an upcoming chordless trio album:)

Solo sax on a Jerome Kern standard

Duo playing over the internet!

Electronic

Original of mine. Groove with poignant lyrics

Solo EWI and Synthy loops

Solo Sax and Pedals


  • Saxophonist, Woodwind Specialist, and Electronic Musician
  • Entrepreneur, Founder of Brave Sound Productions
  • Audio Engineering, Videography, Photography

A bit about me...

Hi, I'm Austin Zhang, a first-generation Chinese-American boy raised in suburban Texas, now a jazz saxophonist in New York City.

While my childhood friends headed towards the Ivy League, pre-med, and other Asian-approved paths of life, I found myself playing Matheny covers in dodgy Deep Ellum bars, traveling the country to meet my idols, and humming Bird solos in class. Thanks to loving parents, incredible mentors, and numerous jazz education opportunities, I was able to study at the Manhattan School of Music on scholarship. As a student in NYC, I met some of the most important mentors in my life: Jaleel Shaw, Stefon Harris, John Riley, Marc Cary, and Wynton Marsalis. These beautiful human beings expanded my views of music, art, and life and embody the traditions and spirit that I seek to continue.

Since then I've shared the stage with giants of this music: Terri Lyne Carrington, Wycliffe Gordon, Mingus Big Band, Mino Cinelu, and others. In 2020, I immersed myself in the worlds of music technology and entrepreneurship and co-founded the NYC digital music venue, Brave Sound Productions. I've performed at such venues as Jazz at Lincoln Center (Rose Hall and Dizzy's Club), the Django, Bar Next Door, Joe's Pub, Newport Jazz Festival, and internationally in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, and the Netherlands.

Today, I lead an acoustic jazz group with the freedom of Ornette Coleman and '60s Sonny Rollins combined with harmonic influence from Stefon Harris and American blues/folk musicians. I also record electronic fusion music drawing from artists like Allan Holdsworth and Tribute Tech.

A recent project of mine is to expand my fluency on the alto clarinet. I've always loved woodwinds since playing bass clarinet in high school concert band but recent fascinations with the music of Eric Dolphy, Paquito D'Rivera and more currently Lucas Pino and Jasper Dutz have put me back in the shed...

Here's me as a youngin' playing with and learning from amazing people

Photo dump of some cool shows I've played over the past few years

Shows

August 2nd, 8PM - Austin Zhang Trio at Brave Sound NYC
Tickets here
Austin Zhang - Alto Saxophone
Dan Finn - Bass
Michael Shapira - Drums

August 19th, 7:30PM and 8:45PM - Austin Zhang Trio at Clement's Place, Newark, NJ
FREE
Austin Zhang - Alto Saxophone
Dan Finn - Bass
Michael Shapira - Drums

Let's connect and make something cool together.

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Contact me

Would love to hear from you!

austin@austinzhang.org
Instagram:
@austindiscovers
YouTube Channel

For my inconsistent, sometimes-too-personal blog, please see blog.austinzhang.org