With a passion for the unorthodox and a knack for cultivating unique ensemble identities, Melbourne-based saxophonist, improviser and composer Andrew Saragossi has established himself across several and varied creative outlets as a chameleon with a wind instrument - not bound by genre or personal taste, but by a relentless search for deeper musical meaning.
Saragossi has that unique ability to make the instrument sing, as if you can almost make out some secret lyrics buried beneath... more direct than real words could ever be.
Musical Sound Bites (2021)
Saragossi’s artistic practice is multidimensional. Whilst firmly grounded in the jazz tradition, his affinity for experimentation and informed use of extended instrumental techniques has evolved to broaden his sonic potential into a realm beyond the stereotypical function of the saxophone. His creative work sits equally in the abstract as it does in the conventional, achieving an honest balance between raw spontaneous expression and refined execution – always in service of the music at hand.
Saragossi recently released his debut solo work entitled "Overlay" (2020). The project, which features three original pieces and one re-imagining of a traditional jazz standard, all for solo tenor saxophone was conceptualised as an audio-visual EP and came to fruition through collaboration with four diverse and unique film-makers. The music on this EP is a culmination of Saragossi's time spent studying in the Netherlands and Germany where is research and practice centred around functional applications of extended techniques in small group and solo settings, a journey through which he has further developed his personal approach to the instrument and is now permeating into his other projects.
Saragossi has released music with several co-led original projects spanning both Europe and his native Australia including; his experimental-folk duo MEATSHELL w/bassist & vocalist Helen Svoboda (Winners 2020 Maastricht Jazz Awards (NL)); avant-bogan, progressive-jazz trio Milton Man Gogh w/Benjamin Shannon & Zac Sakrewski (Finalists 2020 B-Jazz International Competition (BEL); and experimental wind/brass trio DÜT w/Brodie Mcallister & Tristan Rogers. He has also collaborated on recordings/projects with Mike Roelofs (NL), Niran Dasika, Martin Kay's Forage, Jive Canyon & Concocted Consciousness to name a select few.
In 2019 Saragossi’s co-led duo MEATSHELL won the inaugural Award for Innovation in Music (Maastricht, NL) for their debut immersive theatre production “Peaceful Co-Existence” which they wrote, produced and performed in. They continued this success by winning the 2020 Maastricht Jazz Awards (NL) and making the finals of the 2020 B-Jazz Competition (Leuven, BE) alongside Saragossi’s other project Milton Man Gogh. Personally, Saragossi was a finalist in the APRA Professional Development Awards (2021) and was awarded the Colin Biedermann Memorial Scholarship to attend the 2019 School for Improvisational Music (SIM) Summer Creative Intensive in Brooklyn, NY under the mentorship of some of his musical heroes including Ralph Alessi, Tim Berne, Tony Malaby and Kris Davis.
In his career so far, Saragossi has been honoured to perform with the likes of, Randy Brecker (USA), Kristin Berardi (2006 Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition Winner), Steve Newcomb (QLD Conservatorium Head of Jazz), Tom Burlinson (AUS Film & Theatre Star), Zac Hurren (Australian National Jazz Award Winner), Erik Griswold (USA/AUS), Mike Roelofs (NL), BULLHORN and Resin Dogs. He has also been heavily involved with the Electric Moon Theatre Company (Brisbane) since 2014 and has performed in several stage shows/musical tributes at the Brisbane and Melbourne Cabaret Festivals as well as being in the resident band for the Twin Peaks Cast in Conversation Australian Tour (2018).
“No pedestal, no bullshit, just music that means something, music that comes from somewhere and I think the audience can find their way into his world feeling comforted and welcomed.”
Brodie Mcallister – MADE NOW MUSIC
Aside from performing, Saragossi is also passionate about arts administration and education. During his time spent in Europe, he worked as the the Head of Production at Jazz Maastricht where he produced shows for the likes of Avishai Cohen & Yonathan Avishai, Kairos 4tet, Richard Bona, Gilad Hekselman, Pablo Held and Maria Mendes. He was also the Production Manager of the 2021 Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Saragossi is a co-founder and director of Brisbane-based independent record label Green Chimneys Records through which he has produced and promoted shows for a vast array of internationally renowned artists in the jazz and hip-hip spheres including Oddisee (USA), Black Milk (USA) and KNOWER (USA). In 2018 he launched the sub-label SuperSonic with a focus on capturing and documenting the creative and innovative music happening in the Brisbane scene and providing opportunities for artists to record, release and perform their music.