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Steve Treseler

Steve Treseler is a Seattle-based saxophonist, composer, teaching artist, and author who performs and leads creative music workshops across the U.S. DownBeat calls his music “beautifully crafted ensemble pieces—whether free, through-composed, or somewhere in between.” Steve’s voice as an improviser and composer blends distinct, yet confluent elements: straight-ahead jazz, post-modal harmony, Impressionism, minimalism, drones, alternative rock, American folk, electronic effects, and the avant-garde.

Treseler grew up in the midst of Seattle’s grunge scene before moving to Boston to pursue his studies on scholarship at New England Conservatory, where he studied with jazz legends Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Brookmeyer, George Garzone, and Steve Lacy, He holds a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies and Improvised Music from the University of Washington where he worked with avant-garde trumpeter Cuong Vu.

Steve leads his own ensembles and is part of several ongoing collaborative projects. He and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen are co-leaders of the album Invisible Sounds: For Kenny Wheeler on Whirlwind Recordings, a project that was featured in the New York Times, DownBeat, and on NPR’s Jazz Night in America. Steve leads the In Motion Quartet, Electro-Acoustic Trio and Radiant Fields: an experimental meditation for solo saxophone and electronic effects. He co-leads the Snow Line Project with Denver-based pianist Annie Booth and is a member of Tom Varner’s Nonet, Christian Pincock’s Scrambler, Wayne Horvitz’s Washington Composers Orchestra, Jessika Smith’s Big Band, The Phil Parisot Quartet, and Birch Pereira and the Gin Joints. In 2018, Treseler was a featured soloist with the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra. His album Center Song received a four-star review in DownBeat and made the magazine’s “Best Albums of 2014” list.

Creative music education is an integral part of Steve’s ongoing work. He is the founder of the Game Symphony Workshop, offering group improvisation workshops for ensembles. Steve teaches at Seattle Pacific University and designed an improvisation course that is part of the school’s core music curriculum. His expanding reputation as an educator has also been fueled by his Amazon bestseller Creativity Triggers for Musicians, The Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide
to Improvisation and Harmony, and his Creative Music Blog.

Steve has performed with jazz greats Bill Frisell, Dave Douglas, Bob Brookmeyer, Kenny Wheeler, Steve Swallow, George Garzone, Jamie Cullum, Geoffrey Keezer, and Mike Stern.

Steve is a Conn-Selmer endorsing artist.



Lecture/Recital: Radiant Fields for Solo Saxophone + FX
Composed and performed by Steve Treseler

Sat. April 13, 3:00 Concert Hall

Radiant Fields is an experimental meditation for solo tenor saxophone and electronic effects. The title comes from the tradition of Buddhist Vipassana meditation, which asks us to rest our attention on both a radiant heart space and an interconnected field of awareness. The project features a variety of sound worlds – meditative, psychedelic, and edgy. The piece is a fluid collection of pieces/improvisations that evolve and change over time.  Radiant Fields was premiered at the Racer Sessions Concert Series, Seattle 2018. The lecture/demonstration portion will give an overview of effects pedals including reverb, three octaves of pitch shift, distortion, delay, wah-wah, infinite sustain, distortion, looping and more. The clinic handout suggests affordable equipment so participants can get electric at home.

Improvisation Workshop

Sun. April 14, 9:00 Recital Hall

Dive into improvisation in a non-intimidating environment. Steve will introduce creative music through non-idiomatic games and activities then pivot to a rhythm-first approach to jazz. This workshop features material from his improvisation course at Seattle Pacific University and books Creativity Triggers for Musicians, and The Living Jazz Tradition. No previous experience required—bring your instrument!

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