Berklee Artist Series featuring Greg Osby

Tuesday / November 3, 2009 / 7:00 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club
400 Soldiers Field Road
United States
Greg Osby

The new Berklee Artists Series at Scullers is a monthly concert series featuring Berklee faculty artists and students in intimate combined concert performances at the world-renowned Scullers Jazz Club. On Tuesday, November 3 the series spotlights saxophonist Greg Osby.

Saxophonist, composer, producer, and educator Greg Osby has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz as a leader of his own ensembles and as a guest artist with other acclaimed jazz groups for the past 20 years. 

Highly regarded for his insightful and innovative approach to composition and performance, Osby is a shining beacon among the current generation of jazz musicians. He has earned numerous awards and critical acclaim for his recorded works and passionate live performances. 

Born and reared in St. Louis, Osby began his professional music career in 1975, after three years of private studies on clarinet, flute, and alto saxophone. Coming from a vibrant and musical city, Osby showed an early interest in the performing arts and spent his years in secondary school with a heavy involvement in blues and jazz groups. In 1978 Osby furthered his musical education at Howard University (Washington, D.C.) where he majored in jazz studies. He continued his studies at the Berklee College of Music from 1980 to 1983. 

Upon relocating to New York in early 1983, Osby quickly established himself as a notable and in-demand sideman for artists as varied as Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack DeJohnette, Andrew Hill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Jim Hall, and Jaki Byard, as well as with many ethnic and new music ensembles in the New York area.

In 1985 Osby was invited to to join Jack DeJohnette's innovative group, Special Edition. It was as a member of this ensemble that Osby was able to fine tune the more challenging aspects of his conception in an open-ended, no-holds-barred musical situation.

In 1987, Osby signed his first recording deal with a new German label, JMT (Jazz Music Today). With this situation, he felt that he was finally able to document life as he saw it through music. He had free creative reign to do whatever he liked. He recorded four CD titles for that label. Osby signed with Blue Note Records in 1990 and recorded 15 outstanding recordings for that label as a leader. 

In 2008, Osby launched his own label, Inner Circle Music, which serves as a platform for many of today's brightest artists. From the pulse of the streets and the language of a generation, Osby has sketched numerous musical essays set to a contemporary score using the improvisational nature of jazz as the connecting thread. 

On 9 Levels, his latest recording on Inner Circle Music, Osby presents his wares in a sextet format and is joined by special guests, Nir Felder, guitar; Adam Birnbaum, piano; Joseph Lepore, bass; Hamir Atwal, drums; and a welcome newcomer to the international jazz scene, vocalist Sara Serpa.

The 2009/2010 Berklee Artist series will also include Terri Lyne Carrington; Donna McElroy; Marc Rossi; Gabrielle Goodman; Six Guitar Brothers: David Fiuczynski, David Gilmore, David Thomas, James Peterson, Thaddeus Hogath, Bill Banfield; George Russell Jr.; Lenny Stallworth; Stan Strickland; and Kenwood Dennard.

The concert series is arranged by Fred Taylor, Scullers' artistic director, and produced by Bill Banfield, professor of Africana Studies at Berklee.