Kyle Engelhardt’s Wind Instrument Listening Resources

Thanks for taking the time to check out some great jazz artists, from historically important jazz musicians to multi-instrumentalist contemporary performers and educators. This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of performers. Instead, it’s a curated list of three performers on each wind instrument, and is a “jumping off” point in your exploration of jazz instrumentation. Jazz has no boundaries: artists of all genders and nationalities have been selected to demonstrate the diversity of personnel and creativity. 

Kyle Engelhardt, Band Director, Cedar Falls High School

Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Bari Saxophone

Alto Saxophone

Charlie Parker

Historically important in development of bebop in the 1940s

Recommended Audio: Bird: The Savoy Recordings (Full Album)

Miguel Zenon

Modern Puerto Rican alto saxophonist, composer, band leader, music producer, and teacher.

Recommended Audio: Identities are Changeable – live with Identities Big Band, 2014

Tia Fuller

Contemporary Saxophonist, composer, and educator, and part of the all-female band touring with Beyonce.

Recommended Audio: Live at the Strathmore Mansion, 2014

Tenor Saxophone

Lester Young

Historically important member of the Basie Band, active from 1933-1959.

Recommended Audio: Lester Young with the Oscar Peterson Trio

Chris Potter

American jazz saxophonist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. Active 1990 to present.

Recommended Audio: Live @ A Vaulx Jazz 2019

Melissa Aldana

Contemporary Chilean tenor saxophonist

Recommended Audio: Live combo performance from 2018

Bari Saxophone

Gerry Mulligan

American jazz icon, popularized the bari as a solo instrument, active from 1946-1996.

Recommended Audio: Gerry Mulligan & Chet Baker: Carnegie Hall Concert

Harry Carney

Legendary bari sax player with the Duke Ellington band. Active from 1927-1974

Recommended Audio: “Sophisticated Lady” – Duke Ellington Orchestra

Lauren Sevian

Winner of the “Rising Star” in the 2019 Downbeat Critics Poll, and Grammy Award winner.

Recommended Audio: Live at Dizzy’s Club, 2017


JJ Johnson

American trombonist, composer, arranger. Active from 1942-1996, one of the first to embrace bebop

Recommended Audio: The Great Kai and J.J. (full album)

Luis Bonila

American, Grammy Award winning jazz trombonist of Costa Rican descent.

Recommended Audio: Live from the Puerto Rico – Heineken Jazz Festival, 2013

Natalie Cressman

Singer, Songwriter, trombonist, “Rising Star – Trombone” Downbeat 2019.

Recommended Audio: Natalie Cressman and Ian Faquini – “You Go To My Head” (house concert)


Miles Davis

One of the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz.

Recommended Audio: Miles Davis – Kind of Blue. Best selling jazz album of all-time.

Ingrid Jensen

Canadian trumpet player, one of the best modern trumpet players alive today.

Recommended: Discover Jazz – Ingrid Jensen. 2016 PBS Special from 2016.

Wynton Marsalis

American virtuoso trumpeter, composer, teacher, and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center

Recommended Audio: Wynton Marsalis live at Jazz in Marciac 2019

Published by Dennis Green

Middle-aged public radio manager, occasional writer and stage performer. You can find me at the Washington H.S. pool many mornings at 5:30am.

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