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BlueStem Jazz | Shawn Maxwell Quartet
North Street Cabaret
Madison, WI
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BlueStem Jazz | Shawn Maxwell Quartet
Nobody writes like this.  Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

As a composer, recording artist and performer, saxophonist Shawn Maxwell has endeavored to express his own unique voice. From his latest album Millstream (Jazzline, 2020) to his debut Originals (self-released, 2005), he has released nine albums of original compositions. The traditions of jazz form the foundation for Shawns music; he builds on that with material from the music he grew up with  rock, funk, hip hop, R&B, classical.  The result, as Hrayr Attarian wrote in Chicago Jazz Magazine, is refreshingly distinct yet recognizably Maxwellian. Hes not intent on following any rules  or on breaking them  but on continually expanding what his music encompasses.

a composer whos confident in his artistic vision, and comfortable with the wide array of colors on his instrumental palette.  Bobby Reed, Downbeat Magazine

For the past four years, Shawn has been touring the U.S. with his quintet Shawn Maxwells New Tomorrow. Their first album, Shawn Maxwells New Tomorrow (OA2/Origin, 2016), was named one of Downbeat Magazines Best Albums of 2017. The follow-up, Music in My Mind (OA2/Origin, 2018), was highly praised by critics and enthusiastically received by radio stations.  It was chosen as a Downbeat Magazine Editors Pick in June 2018.

jaunty, angular melodies, deceptive time signatures, and metronomic rhythm arrangements  sound as if inhabited by the ghost of Zappa  Neil Tesser

Shawn Maxwells Alliance (Chicago Sessions, 2014) was the eponymous album from another of his projects. A ten-piece ensemble including voice, two French horns, two upright basses and vibraphone, they were praised by jazz critics (another Downbeat Editors Pick) and named on several best of the year lists. So unusual was the music that publications as diverse as Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange picked it up; Not exactly the sort of band youre likely to hear in anyones notion of the mainstream and thus highly attractive to progressive ears.

Alliance followed up with an E.P. later that year, Bridge (Chicago Sessions, 2014), which expanded on the sound of the group. a brief album full of rich musical ideas, colorful passages, and unique musical constructs. said Dan Bilawky (AllAboutJazz.com).

These days, Shawn Maxwell sounds like Shawn Maxwell, and thats a great thing  Paul Abella, Chicago Jazz Magazine

Shawns groups also include a quartet, featured on his earliest recordings, Urban Vigilante, Maxwells House (Chicago Sessions 2011, 2009), Originals II and Originals (self-released, 2008, 2005).

an exciting figure on the Chicago jazz landscape  Michael Barris, Downbeat Magazine

As a Vandoren and Conn-Selmer artist, Shawn is a favorite of students from college age through elementary school, combining his pedagogical skills with a performers sensibility in Master Classes and guest appearances.

This is bold music. Maxwell isnt afraid to try out new ideas and take chances.  Frank Alkyer, Downbeat Magazine

Millstream (Jazzline/Delta, 2020) and Expectation & Experience (Jazzline/Delta, 2021) are the ninth & tenth albums released by Shawn featuring all original compositions.

Shawns eleventh album, Story At 11, will be released in November 2022.

Shawns style began to form in the school music programs of Joliet, Illinois. A celebrated performer in the Joliet Central High School band program, he went on to earn a B.A. in Music from Millikin University.


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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