Stan Killian

New York-based composer and tenor saxophonist, Joe Killian, was born in Texas. He began his professional career at 16 years old with Joe Killian, a jazz pianist who also played the Hammond organ. Joe worked in bands that included sax legends Jimmy Ford, Sonny Stitt and Don Wilkerson. The twenty-first century Texas Tenor has a saxophone spirit that is reminiscent of Illinois Jacquet and Arnett Cobb and James Clay. He aims to modernize this rich tradition by utilizing a highly personal compositional approach and a consistent group sound that is full of interplay and simpatico. In 2001, Killian graduated from Texas State University. He studied improvisation with James Polk, an award-winning arranger and organist of The Ray Charles Orchestra. He also studied saxophone and John Mills. Killian was a popular sideman in Austin and Houston before forming his own band with his father, who played the piano. His first album, Straight Ahead, was released at 21. It featured his father, James Polk on piano and Martin Banks on trumpet. He recorded Deep Down, an album that featured Polk and Joe Killian playing the Hammond organ, and G.T Hogan drumming. He formed Com Voce in 2003 with Margret Grebowicz as a vocalist. The quintet’s repertoire was mainly odd-meter arrangements of bossa Novas and Wayne Shorter songs. In 2005, Candeias was released by Nocturne in France. They also opened for Ze Renato’s first American solo tour. Stan Killian, who moved to the east coast in 2006, began his sideman work in Baltimore and Washington D.C. Private studies were started with Gary Thomas in Improvisation and Larry Willis in Composition. Com Voce continued to be led by him, and he performed in New York City in January 2007. He moved to Brooklyn in 2007, and after recording Com Voce with jazz legends Ben Monder, Scott Colley, and Antonio Sanchez for Sunnyside Records in 2009, he started a new quartet that focuses exclusively on his original compositions. Unified was his first Sunnyside Records record. It featured his working Quartet and guest jazz greats Roy Hargrove, David Binney, and Jeremy Pelt. Killian was influenced by each of these guest stars. The album was well-received by JazzTimes and Down Beat as well as All About Jazz and The New York City Jazz Record, among other publications. Stan Killian performs every Tuesday night at the 55 Bar in Manhattan with his band. from

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