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North Street Cabaret
Madison, WI
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Praised for his saxophone virtuosity by Downbeat Magazine, Max Bessesen is a young composer and performer based in New York City.  His 2020 debut album Trouble (Ropeadope Records) features Cornettist Ron Miles, and according to Jazziz magazine it is nothing if not evocative.

After a musical upbringing in Denver, Colorado Max pursued his undergraduate studies at Oberlin Conservatory, where he earned a Downbeat student music award and studied with Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson and Billy Hart. Following graduation in 2016, Max was awarded a fellowship from the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund which allowed him to study music in India, Ghana, and Cuba for one year under the mentorship of masters of South Indian Classical, traditional West African and Afro-Cuban musical forms.

Fresh from these travels Max moved to Chicago in 2017 where he would spend four years working with some of the citys most accomplished musicians, including Bobby Broom, George Fludas, Greg Ward, Russ Johnson, Dana Hall, and Junius Paul. He appears on recent recordings by Sam Pilnicks Nonet Project, The Chicago Folklore Ensemble, Emily Kuhns Helios, and the collectivist crossover group Echoes. He played often at all the jazz venues and festivals in the windy city including the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival and a weekly large ensemble slot at the Green Mill. Max has also performed at jazz festivals across the United States, the Netherlands, and in Jordan.

In 2020 Max was awarded a Pathways to Jazz grant from the Boulder County Arts Alliance for his upcoming project Throughout: Music From the Aquarian Age which reinterprets essential jazz works from the 1970s. Soon after Max received the 2021 Luminarts Fellowship in jazz, and relocated to New York City. He currently attends the Manhattan School of Music.

Ethan Philion is an award-winning bassist, composer, and bandleader based in Chicago. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and DePaul University, Philion has performed with Rufus Reid, Greg Ward, Dana Hall, Mark Feldman, Russ Johnson, Howard Levy, Gary Bartz, Alfonso Ponticelli, Ernest Dawkins, Geof Bradfield, Brian Settles, Tim Green, Alyssa Allgood, Paul Marinaro, and more.

Philion won the International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition (2019) and was selected to Chicago's Luminarts Jazz Fellowship (2020). That year he was also honored as one of The Year Of Chicago Music Featured Artists. In March of 2015 Philion was selected to take part in Betty Carters Jazz Ahead Residency at the Kennedy Center. While there he worked closely with faculty artists Jason Moran, Eric Revis, Eric Harland, Cyrus Chestnut, Carmen Lundy, Andre Hayward, and JD Allen.

Philion leads three ensembles in Chicago. He directs Meditations on Mingus--a 10 piece band that performs works by Charles Mingus pertaining to social justice. He performs his original music with a quartet featuring Greg Ward, Russ Johnson, and Dana Hall. He also leads an acoustic trio featuring Philion's arrangements of standards in the Nat King Cole Trio/Ray Brown Trio style.

Philion graduated with a Master's in Music from DePaul University in June, 2019 and received a BM from Oberlin Conservatory in 2014 under the tutelage of Peter Dominguez, Gerald Cannon, Jay Ashby, and Scott Dixon. While at Oberlin, Philion won the Outstanding Soloist Award from Downbeat in the 2014 Student Music Awards edition. His septet also won an Outstanding Small Ensemble Award the same year.

Before moving to Chicago, Philion spent three years working as a bassist in DC and Baltimore performing at Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, the Kennedy Center, and more. In 2017 he moved to Chicago where he has a weekly residency with Alfonoso Ponticelli at the Green Mill and frequently at clubs like the Jazz Showcase, Andy's Jazz Club, The California Clipper, Constellation, and more.  He has performed across the country in New York City, Denver, Portland, St Louis, Seattle, and more and has performed in Mexico at Xinco Jazz Club.

Devin Drobka is one of the most in-demand and creative musicians in the midwest for the past 15 years. Audiences around the world have been enthralled with his wide sonic palette and limitless rhythmic possibilities on the drums. A deep love of jazz, metal, folk, hip-hop, ambient, idm, and classical music has helped shaped Devins unique voice and vision on the drums both as a leader and as a sideman. His highly personal and creative drumming can be heard within the realm of jazz having performed with Greg Osby, Jerry Bergonzi, Dayna Stephens, and Joe Lovano as well as indie- folk bands like Field Report and indie rappers R.A.P. Ferreira and Serengeti. Devin can be heard on over 50 albums of genre bending, original music for which he is an advocate for. Devin currently composes music for his newest group, The Devin Drobka Trio, which draws upon his love of contemporary classical music and minimalism and his multi horn group, Bell Dance Songs, which is a response to his love of Albert Ayler, Paul Motian, and Ornette Coleman. Devins music has been described as sounding like nothing else in midwestern jazz and gorgerous, innovative.

" Devin was a former student of mine at Berklee and one of my best. He was and remains, a serious, inquisitive, committed student, firmly grounded in the tradition, but open to what might be possible as the tradition evolves and changes with each generation... not only is Devin a catalyst of that change... he is " the next generation..."
Jon Hazilla - Drum Professor at the Berklee College of Music


North Street Cabaret (View)
610 North Street
Madison, WI 53703
United States


Music > Jazz

Minimum Age: 21
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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