Austin Zhang is a New York City/Dallas based band leader and saxophonist. His seriousness and dedication to the music has made him a rising name and has helped him perform with artists such as Wycliffe Gordon, Terri Lyne Carrington, George Garzone, John Beasley, Stefon Harris, and Ted Nash. Zhang has performed across the country at venues/festivals such as the Newport Jazz Festival, Vail Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Carnegie Hall, Harlem Stage, Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas City Performance Hall, and many others. He doubles on flute, piccolo, clarinet, and bass clarinet.
Zhang is currently studying at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, in one of the most historically significant locations in the history of jazz: Harlem, NY. There he has been immersed in music, history, and culture, working alongside some of the most talented young artists in the world and studying with world-renowned professors.
Reaching past his musical aptitude, Zhang is a socially conscious and curious citizen of the world. He is constantly studying the history of racism, social inequality, and injustice in America; the roots of where jazz music truly spawned from. He understands that the incredible level of expression achieved by Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Thelonious Monk, came not just from musical talent but an inconceivable ability to touch people and a strong societal message to convey (ex. Black and Tan Fantasy, A Love Supreme, Strange Fruit). All of his musical ideas, compositions, and performances, are conducted with this gravity in mind. His most recent composition, Guac, dedicated to the victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting of February 2018 can be heard here.