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Music alumnus presents free outreach programs at Loyola and local public schools

January 13, 2012

Loyola University College of Music and Fine Arts alumnus and saxophonist Jake Saslow ’09 will return to New Orleans Jan. 18 - 20 to perform at Snug Harbor and conduct free outreach programs at Loyola and in New Orleans public schools.

Saslow, who was also one of the first students to graduate from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in New Orleans in 2009, is on tour in support of his new debut CD, “Crosby Street.” He recently completed a world tour, backing Grammy Award-winning singer Michael Buble.

Other members of the Jake Saslow Quartet include fellow Monk Institute alumnus Colin Stranahan ‘09 on drums, Mike Moreno on guitar and Matt Closhesy on bass. Saslow and Stranahan will be conducting private lessons and masterclasses at Loyola University on Wednesday, Jan. 18 and Thursday, Jan. 19, and the quartet will perform at Snug Harbor Bistro on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

On Friday, Jan. 20, Saslow will lead the quartet in an assembly program for 200 students at Warren Easton High School and in a masterclass for 50 students at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Both music outreach education programs are sponsored by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

“We’re thrilled to have Jake return to New Orleans with his group,” said Institute administrative director Holly Wallace. “The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is firmly committed to providing its free jazz education programs across New Orleans, and we’re proud to have our alumni continue to contribute to further the cause of jazz, and indeed, all the arts, in the city and beyond.”

In spring 2007, Saslow was selected by audition into the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance under artistic director Terence Blanchard at Loyola University New Orleans. As one of only seven members in the full-scholarship program, Saslow had the opportunity to study and perform with jazz masters including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Benny Golson, John Scofield and Brian Blade, among many others. As a member of the Monk Institute Ensemble, he performed extensively throughout the New Orleans area at venues including Snug Harbor and Preservation Hall, as well as completing international tours of Panama and India. He also studied classical composition with the renowned composer Roger Dickerson. In 2009, Saslow completed his Master of Music in Performance at Loyola University New Orleans and certificate from the Monk Institute.

“The combination of a great faculty with top-notch facilities really helped me get the most out of my educational experience at Loyola and helped to prepare me for my career as a musician after I graduated. I also took French and painting classes while at Loyola and the teachers I had were amazing. This educated me in a broader sense that I might not have received at another school,” Saslow said. “When it comes to a career as a professional musician, I think it's important to follow your heart and create a career path that works for you. I look forward to sharing with the students how my personal career has taken shape since I graduated from Loyola in hopes that it will help them in the development of their own careers.”

Since returning to New York upon graduation, Saslow has been performing throughout the city’s jazz clubs and collaborating with some of the world’s finest musicians. As an educator, he teaches private lessons on saxophone, flute and clarinet, and has also taught masterclasses on various subjects including saxophone technique, rhythmic concepts for improvisation and harmonic concepts for improvisation at Loyola University New Orleans and the 2008 Panama Jazz Festival.

For more information, contact Jess Brown in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at jlbrown@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5882.

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