Bass Clarinettist

Jason Alder

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About Jason

Bass Clarinettist
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(Bass) clarinet- & saxophonist, contemporary music, electronics, klezmer, and improvisation specialist.

Jason Alder is a contemporary, improvising, and electronic musician. Originally hailing from the metro Detroit area, in 2006 he relocated to Amsterdam and has since based himself in Europe. An active clarinet-, bass clarinet-, and sometimes saxophonist, he keeps a busy international performance schedule as a soloist, improviser, chamber and session musician. In addition to his own projects, Jason is also regularly found performing with various orchestras, jazz ensembles, bands, theater groups, and dancers throughout Europe and the United States. Always seeming to find himself on the musical fringe, Jason is a specialist in new and contemporary music. He has been working closely with composers and has premiered many pieces solo, some written especially for him, or as part of an ensemble. In 2014 his flute and clarinet Shadanga Duo commissioned 7 new pieces from the Snow Mask composers group in Denmark for premieres in Århus. As an improviser he can be found playing in his electro-acoustic improvisation duo Sonido 13; improvising film soundtracks with Magic Lantern Show Orchestra; exploring music as it relates to movement with members of the improvised dance and theater community such as the Mono Dance Collective; and often playing with other members of the improvised and experimental music scene. Jason is also a member of the "psychedelic klezmer-jazz" quartet Payazen!, praised as The World's Finest Buskers, which has taken him to the Glastonbury Festival, Ferrara Buskers Festival, and on tours around Italy, the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech & Slovak Republics, and Israel. Jason also works in cross-disciplinary and multimedia fields, and his new performance art project megalodon/na won the Lyrik Live prize from the Austrian radio Ö1. An alumnus of the Interlochen Center for the Arts summer programs, he holds Bachelor of Music degrees from the classical departments of both Michigan State University (US- Clarinet Performance), and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (NL- Bass Clarinet Performance), and a Master's of Music from the jazz department of the Artez Conservatorium (NL), where he followed the "New Dutch Swing" program of creative improvisation. He has also directed a significant amount of his studies towards computer/electronic music, ethnomusicology, and audio engineering. His teachers and instructors have included Richard Alder, Richard Hawkins, Kimberly Cole, Andrew Harwood, Frank Ell, Erik van Deuren, Yaniv Nachum, Michael Lowenstern, David Krakauer, Ernesto Molinari, Frank Gratkowski, Claudio Puntin, Wilbert de Joode, and Michael Vatcher. He also studied electronic and computer music with Mark Sullivan, live electronics and Max/MSP with Jos Zwaanenburg, as well as post graduate study in the application of South Indian Karnatic music rhythmic principles to contemporary Western classical and jazz music (Contemporary Music and Improvisation through Non-Western Techniques) with Jos Zwaanenburg and Rafael Reina. In 2012 Jason travelled to India to further this study with guru B.C. Manjunath. Jason has performed in such internationally recognized venues as the Berliner Philharmonie, Het Concertgebouw, Muziekgebouw, and the BIMhuis. He has also performed in many festivals including numerous times in the Gaudeamus Muziekweek contemporay music festival in the Netherlands, Internationale Saxofoonweeks and Blue Clarinet Day, both in Amsterdam, Ultima Contemporary Music Festival in Oslo, International Festival for Innovations in Music Production and Composition in Leeds, UK SABRe Bass Clarinet Day, and both the International and European Clarinet Associations' clarinet festivals. In 2009 he attended the IMPULS International Ensemble- and Composers-Academy for Contemporary Music in Austria where he worked with members of Klangforum Wien, as well as premiering three pieces in the groundbreaking MELE (Motion Enabled Live Electronics) concert, and in 2013 he performed and lectured at the Week of Contemporary Music at the Royal Conservatory in Gent. As an electronic musician, Jason works in various genres of electronic and electro-acoustic music. In 2010 he reconstructed Stockhausen's 1966 piece "Solo" for melody instrument and feedback to be played with only a computer performing the roles of at least 6 people that were originally required, for which this performances was written about in Harry Sparnaay's book. He also worked with composer Robert Ratcliffe to develop software to expand on the realization of his electro-acoustic piece "Wake Up Call", which resulted in a paper published in the journal Sonic Ideas. He's written his own piece for bass clarinet and electronics, "A'd amssong" and as a member of the collective TransformersDetroit has worked with hip-hop producer Das and produced his own acid, techno, and noise tracks. Past projects include playing bass guitar, saxophones, clarinets, or electronics in various bands including Exchange Bureau, June Ruin, the Toobnoodles, and Spinfist. Jason has authored two quarter-tone, extended range fingering charts for both clarinet and bass clarinet which are currently being used by some of the leading new music clarinetists for their own and pedagogical reference. In addition to teaching clarinet and saxophone lessons, Jason also gives workshops in Advanced Rhythm, and workshops on non-idiomatic improvisation with Sonido 13. Jason is also a skilled recording engineer and editor, and operates a small recording business, N&K Music and Audio, out of the Detroit, Amsterdam, and London areas. Beginning his training working in the Recording Services department while studying at MSU, he has over 10 years of experience specializing in live concert and solo to mid-sized ensemble studio recordings. He has engineered recordings for numerous solo, chamber ensemble, band, orchestra, and choral events in southeast Michigan and Amsterdam, as well as his own classical and stage band recordings.

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
I have a car I can use to travel to gigs
I can perform with backing tracks
I can perform while walking around a venue
My equipment is PAT tested
I own a PA system
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Event types:
Concert, Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Bar / Club / Venue event, Private event, Corporate event, Charity event, Recording session, Theatre / Show, Cruise, Birthday party, Christmas party, New Year's Eve
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Other skills:
Audio engineer, Ableton Live, Fluent improviser, Fluent sight-reader, Instrumental teaching, Theory teaching
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Alex C, 1 year ago

I would recommend Jason

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Alex R, 1 year ago

We wanted to email you to say what an amazing time we had at our wedding, you were all incredible and everybody absolutely loved your music. Thanks so much for everything, we had the best day ever and it was really special having you guys playing. A personal highlight for me Zombie, and of course, Man With the Red Face - we have some brilliant videos of that song and it was something that I will never forget! Thanks so much for learning that and Bill Withers' Lovely Day too - we could tell you guys had put a lot of practice into it.

Stuart P, 2 years ago

I was a complete novice with the tenor sax and bass clarinet, Jason is an excellent teacher and I am progressing fairly quick, I very much look forward to each lesson, he is a true artist. I am now starting to learn the alto flute with Jason.

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