Jason Alder is a bass clarinet specialist and holds degrees in clarinet performance (Michigan State University- US), bass clarinet performance (Conservatorium van Amsterdam- NL), creative improvisation (Artez Conservatorium- NL), as well as post-graduate study in the application of the advanced rhythmic principles of South Indian Karnatic music to contemporary Western classical and jazz music (Contemporary Music and Improvisation through Non-Western Techniques). He is currently conducting PhD research on the sonic possibilities of the contrabass clarinet (Royal Northern College of Music- UK).
He is well-established as a performer of contemporary music and frequently works with composers to develop and premiere new works either as a soloist, with his flute-clarinet Shadanga Duo, the Four New Brothers Bass Clarinet Quartet, or in a variety of other formations.
As well as composed music, Jason regularly performs internationally as an improviser, electroacoustic musician, and in world, jazz, and popular music bands. Performing as a member of the "psychedelic klezmer-jazz" quartet Payazen!, has taken him to many festivals, including Glastonbury and as a featured guest at the Ferrara Buskers Festival, and on tours around Italy, the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech & Slovak Republics, and Israel, as well as into the studio for 3 CD releases.
As a saxophonist he plays baritone in the afrobeat band JORO, and tenor in the indie-rock bands The Lazlo Device and Novack, Palumbo and the Funk, Matuki, and with the Bengali-jazz fusion band of singer Shapla Salique. Jason also performs as a woodwind doubler for musical theater shows, in the London Musical Theatre Orchestra, and toured with Grammy and Tony Award winner Idina Menzel and Rob Mounsey.
Jason appears on a number of CDs, most recently recording Contradictions, an album of improvised contrabass and contra-alto clarinet duos in a variety of combinations with Piotr Michalowski; Tottenham Hale, an improvised clarinet trio with Alex Ward and Tom Jackson; Music for Bass Clarinets, an album of live recordings from a concert at Café OTO with Yoni Slver, Chris Cundy, Tim Hodgkinson, Heather Roche and Kata Szanyi; Music for Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinets and Electronics with improvisers Thanos Chrysakis, Yoni Silver, and Caroline Kraabel; Divinities of the Earth and Waters with the Balkan Big Band Mimika Orchestra; and Cloud Factories with the Attila Gyarfas Trio.
He is also featured on the soundtrack for the short animation Beren op de Weg by Nadia Meezen which has been screened at festivals around the world.
He is often found performing, lecturing, or on panel discussion at festivals around the world, including the International ClarinetFests, European Clarinet Festivals, Istanbul Woodwind Festival, American Single Reed Summit, Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain Single Reed Day; Netherlands Gaudeamus New Music Festival, Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, Havana Festival of Contemporary Music, and Leeds International Festival of Artistic Innovation.
Jason has also attended the IMPULS International Ensemble- and Composers-Academy for Contemporary Music in Austria where he worked with members of Klangforum Wien, as well as premiering three pieces in the groundbreaking MELE (Motion Enabled Live Electronics) concert, and took part in the New Music Incubator in Lithuania which brought together musicians from all over Scandinavia and the Baltics for a week of collaboration and experimentation.
He is also sought after as a recording engineer for many classical and jazz musicians around Europe. Originally from metro-Detroit, Jason has lived in Europe since 2006 and plays Henri SELMER Paris clarinets.
Photo credit : Laetitia Lécuyer / Henri SELMER Paris