MFA in Music Composition

Winter 2018 Saxophone Quartet / Visiting Ensemble

Saxophone Quartet

Making their second appearance at an MFA in Music Composition residency, this phenomenal saxophone quartet features: Ken Thomson, soprano and alto; Peter Hess, alto; Edward RosenBerg III, tenor; and Alex Hamlin, baritone.

Ken Thomson, soprano and alto saxophone

Ken Thomson is a Brooklyn-based clarinetist, saxophonist, and composer. In demand as a composer and freelancer in many settings, he moves quickly between genres and scenes, bringing a fiery intensity and emotional commitment to every musical situation; Time Out NY called him “the hardest-working saxophonist in new-music show business.”

Peter Hess, alto saxophone

Peter Hess (winds) plays with Barbez, Balkan Beat Box, Asphalt Orchestra, Slavic Soul Party and many others. He's on records by the above, also Jabbo Ware, TV on the Radio, Songs:Ohia, Big Lazy, His Name is Alive, the Hold Steady, Mike McGinnis+9, Delphian Jazz Orchestra, Anti-Social Music, Redhooker, and David Sanborn, and has worked with Jack McDuff, Tim Berne, Alarm Will Sound, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He arranges for film and TV including HBO's Bored to Death.

Edward RosenBerg III, tenor saxophone

Edward RosenBerg III is a composer/performer currently residing in New York City. He studied saxophone at the Eastman School of Music, composition at Queens College and counterpoint with Paul Caputo. Ed performs regularly with a variety of jazz/rock/new-music groups in NYC. He is a founding member of the prog-jazz-metal group JERSEYBAND. His other projects include the meditative GLUE GUN OPTIMISM, the grind-core trio HEART OF BARF and THE GREEN ORBS, a band that makes music for kids.

Jay Rattman, baritone saxophone

Jay Rattman, a multi-instrumentalist improvisor and composer in New York City, has performed at Jazz @ Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Coachella Festival, in addition to appearing on NPR's Sound of Young America, WNYC's Soundcheck, The Late Show, and The Tonight Show. In demand in settings as diverse as traditional jazz, klezmer, big bands, free improvisations, creative jazz, and classical chamber music, he has performed or recorded with artists as disparate as Bob Dorough, Feist, Nellie McKay, Stefon Harris, and the José Limón Dance Company. A member of the klezmer band “Zlek” and Phil Woods's Festival Orchestra, he leads a jazz quartet that plays members' original music. As a member of the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet, he has premiered pieces by David Noon, Marc—Antonio Consoli, Jeffrey Nytch, and J. Mark Stambaugh among others.