“The Zzyzx Quartet, comprising soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone sax, exemplifies the happy development of the instrument in the excellence of their playing, the quality of their repertoire, and their synthesis as a quartet. Watching them is like watching a well-directed string section whose bows move in unison; the members of Zzyzx breathe simultaneously, their voices swelling together or seamlessly trading over an undulating sea of sound.” – Judyd Myers, City Arts Magazine NYC
Described as “a superb ensemble with impeccable musical taste”the Zzyzx Quartet was formed in 2007. As an ensemble, they have presented performances throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, as well as numerous masterclasses and workshops across the United States. Zzyzx is committed to the advancement of saxophone quartet repertoire and has commissioned and premiered new works by composers such as Erik Norman, Elliot Bark, Matthew Peterson, Ian Stewart, Sarah Gibson, Laura Kramer, Jonathan Sokol, John Leszczynski and David Rokowski. In 2012, Zzyzx commissioned a new saxophone quartet by renowned American composer, John Mackey, which will be featured on their upcoming CD in early 2013. Most recently, Zzyzx Quartet performed a featured concerto on the opening Gala Concert of the NASA Biennial Conference in Tempe, Arizona and was featured on a concert of up-and-coming young saxophonists from around the world at the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland.
Zzyzx won 2nd Prize in the inaugural North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition in 2008. Additionally, ZQ was selected as one of the only American Chamber groups and the first American Saxophone Quartet to ever be invited to compete in the OSAKA International Chamber Music Competition in Japan. They were honored as semi-finalists from 211 applicants from 29 countries in May 2011. Each of the members have also been recognized as award-winning soloists, receiving awards in prestigious national and international competitions including the Gaudeamus International Competition, North American Saxophone Alliance Competition, MTNA Young Artist Competition, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Competition, and the Carmel Music Society Instrumental Competition. They have also received recognition as semi-finalists in the world’s most prestigious saxophone competitions including the Adolphe Sax International Competition, the Jean-Marie Londeix International Competition and the Aeolus International Competition.
Dedicated to teaching, ZQ established the Zzyzx Educational Outreach Program in 2009 which has lead to numerous workshops, clinics and masterclasses at middle schools, high schools and universities throughout the United States. The quartet’s debut CD, “Zzyzx Road”, was released in 2010 featuring world premiere recordings by Piet Swerts, John Leszczynski, and Erik Norman as well as works by Ida Gotkovsky and Thierry Escaich. The album features a collaboration with their former professor at Indiana University, Otis Murphy, as a guest soloist on Gotkovsky’s Quatuor. An article about ZQ was recently featured in Vol. 35 of the Saxophone Journal. Zzyzx Quartet is a Rico Performing Artist and endorses Rico Reserve Reeds.