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John Kocur

Name: John Kocur
Photo - John Kocur
Location: Fairfax, Va
United States 22033
Contact: Send John Kocur a message
Additional Info: John Kocur is an exciting young alto saxophonist and jazz composer based out of Washington, D.C. His compositions have been described as "mainly straight-ahead and clearly influenced by the playing of past masters such as Johnny Hodges and Cannonball Adderley, but they are not simply derivative. The ballads in particular display a maturity in writing and playing" (Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz). John fell in love with the possibilities of the saxophone at the age of 10 while performing in the school band program in Medford, NY. After studying music at the university level, John has embarked on a full-time career in music performance and education. In 2008, John was selected as an Artist-In-Residence at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center with the responsibility of performing two public shows and an educational workshop at the Mansion at Strathmore. John was also a member of the 2010 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The John Kocur Quartet performs original compositions and unique interpretations of popular American songs in an intimate, all-acoustic format. Recent performances by the John Kocur Quartet have included venues such as Blues Alley, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Twins Jazz, and the Phillips Collection. John Kocur's first album, "The Smoker" is available for sale at and iTunes.

In addition to leading his own group, John frequently collaborates with musicians in other genres such as progressive hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon. As a sideman, John has performed with the Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra, Capital Focus Jazz Band, and the Too Damn Big Orchestra. John has performed at the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival in Washington, D.C. and overseas at the Jazz Ascona Festival in Switzerland and the first annual Nagano Jazz Festival in Japan. Throughout his career, he has shared the stage with jazz artists such as Benny Golson, Fred Wesley, Jimmie Owens, Freddie Redd, and Buck Hill.

In 2006, John received a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from George Mason University while studying with saxophonists, Dale Underwood and Jim Carroll. From 2006-2008, he studied woodwinds with Charlie Young III and Dr. Sais Kamalidiin while attending Howard University. In May 2008, he received a Master's of Music Degree in Jazz Studies from Howard University. As an educator, John has given workshops and lectures at universities and high schools. He is currently teaching jazz, composition, and saxophone at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, VA. John is currently a member of the DC Federation of Musicians Local 161-710 and the Washington Area Music Association.
Additional Specialisms: Session Work, Solo Performance, Jazz, Improvisation
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