Dr. Jason Kush
Dr. Jason Kush is an active saxophonist, educator, and scholar. Kush has performed as a soloist and ensemble member in wide variety of genres in the United States and Europe. Kush has extensive experience as an orchestral musician, performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (over 200 services including a 2013 European tour), the Russian National Orchestra, and New World Symphony (including a 2008 European Tour). In addition to his membership in the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, Kush has worked as a free-lance jazz/commercial saxophonist with the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Manchester Craftsman’s Guild Big Band, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, East Central Jazz Educators All-Star Big Band, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Eddie Daniels, Christian McBride, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Benny Golson, Maceo Parker, Sean Jones, Freddy Cole, Kevin Mahogany, Wayne Bergeron, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Patti Austin, Dave Koz, Andrea Bocelli, Barry Manilow, Common, Patti LuPone, Jane Lynch, Michael Feinstein, Johnny Mathis, Freddy Cole, Michael Bolton, Hugh Jackman, the Temptations, the Supremes, the O’Jays, and the Four Tops, among many others. Kush’s Carnegie Hall debut occurred in 1998 with a performance by the All-Eastern U.S. High School Honors Band, with a return visit in 2008 to premier Christopher Rouse’s “Wolf Rounds” for wind ensemble. In addition to live performances, Kush recorded with the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, the Stephen Philip Harvey Jazz Orchestra, the East Central Jazz Educators All-Star Big Band, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, reggatone artist Hector el Father, the South 9 Ensemble, the Nathan Douds Ensemble, as well as Eddie Daniels, Tom Scott, and the Henri Mancini Institute Big Band, a project that received a two Grammy Nominations in 2006.
Kush’s solo discography includes Intersecting Lines (New Focus Records/Naxos) and Sonate (Armazi Productions). The Jason Kush Quartet is anticipating at 2023 release on MCG Jazz.
Kush is the leader of the Bridges Saxophone Quartet is a fresh new chamber group composed of four versatile saxophone artists of the Pittsburgh/Western Pennsylvania region. Bridges seeks to honor the classic repertoire of the idiom while surging forward into new compositions. The group explores myriad genres, from medieval compositions, to modern classical and jazz works.
Kush’s scholarly work includes a dissertation on the life and innovations of Belgian inventor François Louis, as well as feature articles and interviews in various magazines and journals pertaining to saxophone performance and pedagogy, including in Saxophone Journal, Polyphonic.org, The Instrumentalist, and The International Musician.
In 2013, Kush established the Three Rivers New Music Consortium, an internationally reaching non-profit organization whose goal is to unite musicians, arts enthusiasts, and musical composers in a common quest for newly composed music. The first commission by this organization premiered in 2014 – Out of this World – a trio for alto saxophone, cello, and piano by David Maslanka.
Kush earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Miami after obtaining his Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami and his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education, magna cum laude, from Slippery Rock University. In addition to extensive performance and scholarly activity, Kush held positions at Barry University and the New World School of the Arts, in Miami, Florida. Currently, Kush is an Associate Professor at Slippery Rock University and an Artist Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University.