Dr. Jason Kush
Artist Lecturer in Saxophone
Dr. Jason Kush is an active saxophonist, educator, and scholar. Kush earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Miami after obtaining his Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami and his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education, magna cum laude, from Slippery Rock University.
Kush has performed as a soloist and ensemble member in wide variety of genres in the United States and Europe. Kush has extensive experience as an orchestral musician, performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (over 100 services that include a 2013 European tour), the Russian National Orchestra, and New World Symphony (including a 2008 European Tour). In addition to his membership in the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, Kush has worked as a free-lance jazz/commercial saxophonist with the Woody Herman Orchestra, the MCG Big Band, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Eddie Daniels, Christian McBride, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Benny Golson, Sean Jones, Freddy Cole, Kevin Mahogany, Wayne Bergeron, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Dave Koz, Andrea Bocelli, Barry Manilow, Megan Hilty, Patti LuPone, Michael Feinstein, Johnny Mathis, Freddy Cole, Michael Bolton, the Temptations, the Supremes, the O’Jays, and the Four Tops, among many others. Kush’s Carnegie Hall debut occurred in 1998 with a performance by the All-Eastern U.S. High School Honors Band, with a return visit in 2008 to premier Christopher Rouse’s “Wolf Rounds” for wind ensemble. In addition to live performances, Kush recorded with the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, Hector el Father, the South 9 Ensemble, the Nathan Douds Ensemble, as well as Eddie Daniels, Tom Scott, and the Henri Mancini Institute Big Band, a project that received a two Grammy Nominations in 2006. In January 2014, the Jason Kush/Billy Test duo released Intersecting Lines on New Focus Recordings (New Focus/Naxos).
Kush’s scholarly work includes a dissertation on the life and innovations of Belgian inventor François Louis, as well as feature articles and interviews in various magazines and journals pertaining to saxophone performance and pedagogy, including in Saxophone Journal, Polyphonic.org, The Instrumentalist, and PMEA News. In addition to extensive performance and scholarly activity, Dr. Kush held positions at Barry University and the New World School of the Arts, in Miami, Florida. Currently, Dr. Kush is an Assistant Professor at Slippery Rock University where he teaches Applied Saxophone, Improvisation, Computer Technology in Music, and directs the SRU Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos, Saxophone Quartets, and Saxophone Ensemble.
In 2013, Kush established the Three Rivers New Music Consortium, an internationally reaching non-profit organization whose goal is to unite musicians, arts enthusiasts, and musical composers in a common quest for newly composed music. The first commission by this organization premiered in 2014 – Out of this World – a trio for alto saxophone, cello, and piano by David Maslanka.
Kush proudly endorses the Selmer (France) and Conn-Selmer (USA) instrument companies, as well as the fine mouthpieces, reeds, and ligatures of Belgian craftsman François Louis.
Kush is an Associate Professor at Slippery Rock University and an Artist Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University.