Mid-Week Session: Jonah Parzen-Johnson
Jonah Parzen-Johnson is a baritone saxophonist living in Brooklyn, NY. From the moment he put a saxophone together, in his hometown of Chicago, he found himself surrounded by musicians like Matana Roberts and AACM mainstay, Mwata Bowden, who were dedicated to finding an individual path to musical discovery.
Jonah’s impressive use of extended techniques including circular breathing, multi-phonics and almost impossibly nimble vocalization owes a debt to the Chicago saxophone legacy, but his devotion to a quirky almost vocal style places him in new territory for the solo saxophone.
His unique approach to the baritone saxophone draws inspiration from the unadorned voices of Appalachian Music and lo-fi musicians like Bill Callahan. He has meticulously constructed a world of warm memories remembered in a cold present, as he melds the evocative nature of folk music with the chilling power of experimentalism.
In addition to relentlessly touring as a solo saxophonist, Jonah is an essential member of the nationally touring afrobeat ensemble, Zongo Junction, and an active freelancer in New York’s jazz and indie-rock communities.