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Patrick Cornelius

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Biography of Patrick Cornelius

Over the past several years, alto saxophonist Patrick Cornelius has emerged as an exciting and dynamic new voice in the New York jazz scene. His latest solo release, Fierce, features a bumper crop of exciting young talents: Johnathan Blake (drums), Michael Janisch (bass), Nick Vayenas (trombone), and Mark Small (tenor saxophone). Fierce features 9 memorably inventive original compositions for this “Chordless Jazz Ensemble,” showcasing his talents as “a composer of dusky elegance” (JazzTimes).

Fierce is a wild romp through imaginative musical playgrounds, featuring dynamic interplay, blistering grooves, and virtuosic intensity. “I wanted to create an album that reflects the giddy unbridled joy that I feel whenever I play jazz,” Cornelius explains.
“I also wanted to write music that fills up and rounds out the Chordless Jazz Ensemble. In so many instances, saxophone trios or quartets without piano or guitar sound abstract and esoteric to many listeners. I wanted to write music for this particular instrumentation that is melodic and accessible without compromising the format’s inherant freedom.

But most importantly,” the leader adds, “I wanted the make music that is FUN to listen to!” One listen to Fierce’s blinding title track makes it clear why the jazz world’s top rising stars are eager to play with Patrick. His recent shows in the New York area have included some of the brightest stars of jazz’s new generation: Lionel Loueke, Aaron Parks, Aaron Goldberg, Kendrick Scott, Gretchen Parlato, Gerald Clayton, Ari Hoenig, and Ambrose Akinmusire. Cornelius’ bands have performed at the famed Blue Note no fewer than three times in recent months, and have appeared repeatedly at many of London’s top venues, such as Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza Express, and the Southbank Center Purcell Room.
He cut his teeth performing in his native San Antonio while still in high school, before attending both Berklee College of Music and The Manhattan School of Music on full scholarships for undergraduate and graduate studies. Patrick is currently working as a graduate assistant at The storied Juilliard School in New York, and is available worldwide for concerts, clinics, and lessons.

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