Twenty-three year old Levi Saelua, (LE-vee sigh-LOO-ah) an award winning saxophonist and Jazz composer, will perform along with his quartet at North Coast Brewing’s Dinner Jazz at the Sequoia Room on Friday, May 9 from 6 to 9 PM.
Levi, a 2012 graduate of the jazz writing program at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester NY, was a 2012 recipient of Down Beat Magazine’s 35th Annual Student Music Awards. As a high school student he was the winner of the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Big Band Competition.
“Levi Saelua has a wonderful musical voice expressed through his compositions and arrangements,” said Jeff Campbell, associate professor and chair of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at Eastman. “He creates music that is both imaginative and engaging to the listener and performer. He is also a very fine saxophonist and improviser.”
Levi has received commissions from the Sacramento Philharmonic and the Chicago based Fatum Brothers’ Jazz Orchestra, toured California and the East Coast of the U.S., and performed in China, Australia and Italy. In May, he will travel to Amsterdam to participate in a master arranger’s workshop with the Grammy-winning Metropole Orchestra.
In 2012 Levi and two fellow Eastman students created a seventeen-piece jazz orchestra, COLOSSUS, to showcase original compositions and arrangements and create a forum for musicians to play innovative, contemporary Jazz. In July, 2013, COLOSSUS released its self-titled debut album. After returning to California last August, Levi created COLOSSUS West, a west-coast edition of the Rochester Jazz orchestra, with a debut performance scheduled May 4 in Sacramento.
Baritone saxophonist Karl Stabnau holds a master’s and a bachelor’s degree from Eastman School of Music. He was also a 2012 recipient of Down Beat Magazine’s 35th Annual Student Music Awards. “Karl Stabnau is a highly versatile and valuable musician,” said Campbell. “Not only is he a wonderful low-woodwind doubler, he is also a gifted improviser who is well versed in the tradition and future of the music. He brings an enthusiastic attitude to each musical situation and is a positive musical force.”
In addition to Levi on alto sax and Karl on baritone sax, the other players in the quartet are Bryan McAllister on piano and Alex Reiff on bass.