Jason Robinson

"Wildly spontaneous."
-Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times
"[A] potent improviser."
-Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes Magazine
"[R]ugged and scintillating."
-Nate Chinen, New York Times
"[O]ne of the most respected soloists and bandleaders in jazz's experimental wing."
-Ron Wynn, JazzTimes Magazine
"Robinson is capable of merging both past and present jazz idioms, while creating a cultural bridge that spans both coasts."
-Robbie Gershon, Audiophile Audition
"Robinson's music is conceived and constructed with both historical perspective and a doorway to the future as often innovative free jazz is infused with vestiges of tradition."
-Mike Reynolds, Musikreviews.com
"Robinson's compositions manage to draw a straight line through bop, Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy straight into the modern day with acute-angle swing, blues bluster and memorable themes that seem to scratch at the back of the mind with familiarity without resorting to quotation or imitation."
-Shaun Brady, DownBeat Magazine




Summer 2015 - Canada, Europe, and Groundation

After a month-long crewing stint for partner and ultrarunner Steph Robinson (WRTC) in June, Jason embarks on a week-long Canada tour from July 8 through July 12 with Toronto guitarist Ken Aldcroft (Toronto, Guelph, Ottawa, and Montreal). Jason joins long-time collaborators in Groundaton for two weeks in late July and August for concerts in Italy, Spain, France, and Germany. The tour concludes with an appearance at Reggae Sun Ska, one of Europe's premiere reggae festivals. The tour supports the latest Groundation release A Miracle.

Details about peformances available here.

Telematics, Virtual Tour DVD

Jason's ongoing research and participation in multi-site networked performance continues in a number of contexts. His research will be published in an upcoming edited volume by Duke University Press, and can be experienced in a 2013 video of a TEDx talk titled "Improvising Through Wires--Making Telematic Music." A 2-DVD set of Virtual Tour 2013, a multi-site concert between San Diego, CA, and Amherst, MA, will be released in 2015 by pfMentum, featuring Nicole Mitchell, Myra Melford, Mark Dresser, Marty Ehrlich, Michael Dessen, and Bob Weiner.

New Janus Ensemble Recording

In late 2015, Jason's celebrated 9-piece Janus ensemble returns to the studio to record "Resonant Geographies," a seven-movement suite that explores the connection between physical places, communities, and sound. Several movements of the suite received their debut during the February 2014 Janus Ensemble tour of the US Northeast and Canada, as well as the group's more recent performance at the Amherst College 2015 Spring Arts Festival. The recording will feature an expanded 11-piece version of the Janus Ensemble, including trombonist Michael Dessen and reedist Oscar Noriega.


Jason Robinson - Tiresian Symmetry

Latest release: Jason Robinson, Tiresian Symmetry (Cuneiform Records)

Continuing his ongoing partnership with Cuneiform Records, Tiresian Symmetry is Jason's seventh album as a leader. An expanded version of his Janus Ensemble, the album features a series of compositions for an unorthodox nine-piece ensemble inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Tiresias and the music of Henry Threadgill in the 1990s. The group features Robinson (tenor sax, soprano sax, alto flute), JD Parran (alto clarinet, contra bass clarinet, tenor sax), Marty Ehrlich (alto sax, bass clarinet, c flute), Bill Lowe (tuba, bass trombone), Marcus Rojas (tuba), Liberty Ellman (guitar), Drew Gress (bass), George Schuller (drums), and Ches Smith (drums, glockenspiel). Five concert dates in the US Northeast and Montreal now announced - click here.

Sample track and info | buy physical copy | buy digital download









Reviews of Tiresian Symmetry

Many thanks to all of those dedicating print and pixel space to the latest album. Here's a sampling:

Nate Chinen, New York Times
Bill Milkowski, Downbeat
Troy Collins, Point of Departure
Lloyd Sachs, JazzTimes
Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz
S. Victor Aaron, Something Else!
Pete Pardo, Sea of Tranquility
Matthew Miller, New York City Jazz Record
Brent Black, Critical Jazz
Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz


About Jason Robinson

The music of American saxophonist and scholar Jason Robinson ("rugged and scintillating," New York Times) thrives in the fertile overlaps between improvisation and composition, acoustic music and electronics, tradition and experimentalism. Initially a devotee of post-1960s jazz and creative music, Robinson is celebrated for bringing together various historical directions in jazz--bebop, post-bop, the avant-garde--with an improvisatory and compositional sensibility drawn from and extending the languages of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Lester Young. His musical interests, however, span far and wide. He is a critically acclaimed distinctive voice in a new generation of creative musicians in equal dialogue with jazz, popular music, experimental music, and electronic music. Robinson's primary group is his New York-based Janus Ensemble, which ranges in size from a quintet with reedist Marty Ehrlich, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer George Schuller, to the full nine-piece version of the group with the addition of reedist JD Parran, trombonist and tubist Bill Lowe, tubist Marcus Rojas, and drummer Ches Smith. The group's latest release is Tiresian Symmetry (Cuneiform, 2012), which was supported by a tour of the US Northeast and Canada in February 2014, including appearances at the 25th season of the Magic Triangle Concert Series at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Casa del Popolo in Montreal, Roulette in Brooklyn, and elsewhere. Robinson has released 14 albums as leader or co-leader and appeared on nearly 50 albums in total. He performs regularly as a soloist (acoustically and with electronics), with his group the Janus Ensemble, and in a variety of collaborative contexts. He has performed at festivals and prominent venues in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and throughout Europe and/or recorded with Peter Kowald, George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Amiri Baraka, Drew Gress, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Marty Ehrlich, Eugene Chadbourne, Earl Howard, Toots and the Maytals, Groundation, Bertram Turetzky, Mark Dresser, John Russell, Roger Turner, Gerry Hemingway, Kei Akagi, Mel Graves, Liberty Ellman, Babatunde Lea, Mel Martin, Marco Eneidi, Lisle Ellis, Raphe Malik, Mike Wofford, Philip Gelb, JD Parran, Dana Reason, David Borgo, Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (at Pearl's, San Francisco), the La Jolla Symphony, SONOR (UCSD), and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, among others. As a scholar, Robinsonís work investigates the relationship between improvised and popular musics, experimentalism, and cultural identity. He has published articles and reviews in Ethnomusicology, Jazz Perspectives, and Critical Studies in Improvisation/ …tudes critiques en improvisation. Robinson is an Assistant Professor of Music at Amherst College and holds a Ph.D. in Music from the University of California, San Diego. A West Coast transplant now living in New England, he is married to Stephanie Robinson, an acclaimed performer, composer, and electronic musician.