Roxy Coss > Jazz Saxophone
New York City-based Saxophonist, Composer and Educator Roxy Coss has become one of the most unique and innovative voices of her generation. The 2014 Downbeat Critics Poll named her a “Rising Star” on Soprano Saxophone. She has performed in countries including Spain, Denmark, Italy, Germany, France, Malta, Scotland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Belgium; as well as throughout Canada and the United States. She has performed with greats such as Clark Terry, Louis Hayes, Claudio Roditi, Mike LeDonne, Gerald Cannon, Jeremy Pelt, and Willie Jones III.
The Roxy Coss Quintet performs in New York City venues such as Smalls and Smoke Jazz Club, where the band held a weekly residency during 2012-2013. The Quintet’s next appearance will be at Smalls Jazz Club n April. She is also a current member of the all-female big band, DIVA. Coss is featured on Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt’s latest two records, Face Forward, Jeremy (2014) and Water and Earth (2013), both HighNote Records.
Coss recently recorded her sophomore album, featuring all original compositions, which is due out in 2015. It will feature Jeremy Pelt, Chris Pattishall, Alex Wintz, Dezron Douglas and Willie Jones III. This most recent release will be the follow-up to her self-titled debut record, Roxy Coss, also featuring all original material, which released in 2010. Her debut was met with critical acclaim, as well as appearing on both the CMJ Jazz and Jazzweek Radio Charts for 12 weeks straight.
A native of Seattle, WA, Roxy began playing piano and composing at the age of 6, and began studying saxophone at age 9. She also won her first award at age 9, placing third in a city-wide composition contest, Reflections. She began studying Jazz with Robert Knatt at Washington Middle School, and went on to be First Tenor Saxophone in the Internationally recognized Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble led by Clarence Acox. In 2008, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from William Paterson University in NJ with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies/Performance. There she studied saxophone with Gary Smulyan and Rich Perry, and composition with Rich DeRosa. She also studied privately with David Demsey, Armen Donelian and Bill Mobley. During her time at WPU, Coss also had the opportunity to work closely with Clark Terry, Harold Mabern, and Mulgrew Miller.
In 2011, Roxy was chosen to participate in the prestigious Jazz Ahead Residency Workshop at the Kennedy Center, where she studied with Nathan Davis, Curtis Fuller, Winard Harper, Carmen Lundy, George Cables, and Chip Jackson. She was later chosen to participate in Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute Jazz Program, where she worked closely with Rufus Reid, David Baker, Curtis Fuller and Nathan Davis.
In 2009, Roxy was commissioned as a composer by the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company to write the score for Breaking, a full length dance piece choreographed on commission by the Holocaust Museum of NYC.
Coss has over 14 years experience as a music educator, and currently directs the Beacon High School Jazz Band in NYC. She also is the East Coast director of Vandoren’s newest program, Generation Vandoren, which is aimed at getting young performing artists to work with music students. Coss is a frequent member of JazzReach, a program led by Hans Schuman that goes into schools and theaters around the country and does interactive performances with students of all ages. She has taught extensively in the past in private studios, and was the adjunct teacher of the woodwind department at Ramapo High School in NJ from 2008-2011. She also served as a faculty member at the William Paterson University Summer Jazz Camp from 2008-2011. Coss also founded and ran the Washington Middle School Summer Improv Workshop in 2005-2009