A three piece, all out energy force, with Nathan Frink on Tenor Saxophone, Ben Barson on Baritone Saxophone, and Julez Powell on the Drums.
Nathan A. Frink is a saxophonist, composer, and scholar pursuing a Ph.D in Jazz Studies at The University of Pittsburgh. As a musician he has performed in several styles ranging from jazz to classical, afrobeat, merengue and gwo-ka. In addition to saxophones, he also occasionally performs on flute, bansuri (Indian bamboo flute), and bass clarinet.
Nathan currently holds a bachelors degree in music from Nazareth College of Rochester, where he studied jazz under the tutelage of Dr. Paul Smoker, and was a founding member of the college jazz combo, Loose Change. He earned his MA in Jazz Studies from The University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2011. Nathan has performed both domestically and abroad with artists such as Bobby Few and Rasul Siddik, and also performs regularly in Pittsburgh and throughout the Northeast. As of 2011, he has been employed and mentored by legendary tenor saxophonist David Murray.
Benjamin Barson is a composer, baritone saxophonist, and revolutionary political activist. He had been Fred Ho's Baritone saxophone protege from 2009 until Mr. Ho's passing in April of 2014, and partnered with Mr. Ho to produce several mixed media musical projects, most recently a tour of Ho's music through Vermont under the banner of Ecosocialism during Black History Month of 2014.
Benjamin has played with the bands of a diverse cross-section of innovative voices in New York City's jazz scene, ranging from Arturo O'Farrill to Craig Harris. He has performed at New York's prestigious cultural institutions such as the Guggenheim Museum, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Lincoln Center. As a producer & curator, Ben was responsible for the launch and development of the music program at the iconic Red Rooster in Harlem.
Ben does not separate culture from politics and considers cultural work to be essential to the construction of politics of liberation and sustainability in the 21st century. Currently Ben is working with the collective Scientific Soul Sessions and Ecosocialist Horizons, to construct a revolutionary self-sufficient gardening project in the city of Pittsburgh, where he resides. More information can be found at Ecosocialisthorizons.com.
Julian "Julez" Powell is a masterful multi-percussionist and drum kit expert. Having attended Berklee College of Music for performance and music business management for 3 years, in 2010, he returned to Pittsburgh and began teaching at an institutions which he felt were in alignment with his values of community engagement and uplifting through music: the John Minedoa , Arnesenal Elementary School, the Drum Program at Fulton Elementary School, Sterrett Academy, and Martin Luther King on the North Side. Having spent the past four years using the art of drums and drum instruction to empower young students, both African-American and of other nationalities, Julez concluded that a comprehensive percussion program that teaches specifically the drum set, and marries it to modern digital musical production and the creation of Beats, is essential if the music of jazz is going to keep going to the next generation.