Leading Midwest saxophone quartet will perform at Ripon Feb. 16

The Lenard Simpson Quartet will perform at Ripon College Friday, Feb, 16, as part of the Chamber Music and Jazz at Ripon series. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. in Demmer Recital Hall, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts. The concert is free and open to the public.

Simpson is an active, in-demand performer, composer, arranger and educator, described as “quickly becoming one of the most important saxophonists of this generation.” From his early days in Milwaukee as a self-taught beginner to formal studies at Northern Illinois University and UCLA’s Herbie Hancock Institute, Simpson’s natural ability and outstanding musicianship have been recognized by some of the most celebrated jazz musicians and pedagogues across the world, including Herbie Handcock, Christian McBride, Wayne Shorter and many more.

Simpson “is trusted and called upon by some of the highest-level musicians anywhere” (Kendall Moore) due to his strong collaborative musicianship, unique sound marked by “profound soulfulness combined with a sparkling intelligence and curiosity” (Billy Childs), and compassionate and individualized approach to teaching.

Simpson teaches at the Milwaukee Institute of Jazz. He has served as an adjunct saxophone professor at Northern Illinois University; taught masterclasses in Melbourne, Australia, Sitka, Alaska, the Birch Creek Jazz camp, Northern Illinois Jazz camp and UCLA Global Jazz camp.

Quartet members are Simpson on saxophone; Runere Brooks, bass; Julius Tucker, piano; and Samuel Jewell, drums). They have performed at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival and premier clubs and jazz festivals throughout the Chicago and Milwaukee area.

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