Max Bessesen’s distinct sound and personal melodies have made him a much sought-after saxophonist in Chicago’s vibrant music community. While Max has varied musical interests including folk, electronic, and classical music, his approach is rooted in jazz and united by a love of collaboration and improvisation.
Max is one part of the collectivist crossover group Echoes whose latest release “Loading Screen” (Outside in Music) has been described as “the sound of jazz in the right now” by Jazziz Magazine. He is also an active member of The Chicago Folklore Ensemble, Emily Kuhn’s Helios, and the Sam Pilnik Nonet among others. Max will release his first album as a leader entitled “Trouble” (Ropeadope Records) on September 4th, 2020.
In 2016 Max was the first jazz musician awarded a fellowship from the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund. This grant allowed him to travel for a year across India, Ghana, and Cuba to study music under the mentorship of masters of Indian Classical, traditional West African, and Afro-Cuban forms.
Born in Denver, Colorado Max was performing professionally by age 14. During his undergraduate studies at Oberlin Conservatory, he earned an outstanding performance award from Downbeat Magazine and studied with Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, and Billy Hart. Max has performed with Ron Miles, Greg Ward, Matt Ulery, and many others. He has appeared on stages at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Swingin’ Groinigen Festival, Cleveland’s Tri-C Jazz Festival and can be seen regularly at Chicago jazz and creative music venues including Andy’s, Constellation, and The Green Mill. ~BandCamp.com
At your leisure, check out “TROUBLE” by Max Bessesen