Washington Saxophone Quartet

Washington Saxophone Quartet | Classical Chamber Mixed Styles

About the Artist/Ensemble

WSaxQ is the most widely heard saxophone quartet in the United States. Since 1997, recorded arrangements by the Washington Saxophone Quartet have aired daily throughout the United States on NPR’s broadcasts of “All Things Considered.” Concert audiences enjoy their connection to WSaxQ when they discover they’ve been listening to the quartet’s music during afternoon “drive-time.” And it often comes as a surprise that they’ve been hearing four saxophones! The instruments evoke the refined sounds of a string quartet, the rich harmonies of an organ prelude, the brilliance of brass, and the excitement of a jazz sax section.
Founded in 1976, WSaxQ has performed recitals, informal concerts, master classes and clinics, and collaborations with bands and orchestras, in the United States, the Caribbean, and China, as well as on radio and television worldwide. The ensemble taps into a rich repertoire, from early music to newly commissioned works, and draws on a wealth of experience to reach listeners of every age and background.
WSaxQ’s “To China and Bach” CD highlights music from their 1995 and 1997 China tours. Their second recording is “Daydream.” “Different Times, Different Places” was released in 2009. “Tis The Season,” was released for Christmas, 2011. “Baroque and Before” is our latest CD. WSaxQ records on the Americus label.
The Washington Saxophone Quartet, Inc is a non-profit 501c3 organization chartered in 2009. For more information on how you can support our efforts, please contact us. Visit our website at www.wsaxq.com

Concert/Performance Description

The saxophone is a relatively new instrument, invented in 1840 by Adolphe Sax, who envisioned a family of instruments, from highest to lowest, much like a choir of voices. The Washington Saxophone Quartet – Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone – takes full advantage of that by performing music in virtually all periods of music, from the renaissance to contemporary,  programming examples: Johann Sebastian Bach or Arcangelo Corelli; an original work for saxophone quartet, perhaps from the United States, France or Belgium; an arrangement of a work by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel or Aaron Copland; the quartet also frequently performs works composed for them. The possibilities for repertoire are almost limitless.

In concert, the quartet guides the audience along with commentary and insight into the music.  It has always been the goal of the Washington Saxophone Quartet to enlighten its listeners and entertain with the highest levels of performance. And for those who may not have heard a saxophone quartet, and there are many, our hope is that it will be a delightful surprise and memorable experience.

Educational Programs

The Washington Saxophone Quartet offers a wide variety of educational programs. For young audiences – Pre-K through elementary – we present an interactive concert/demonstration highlighting the elements of music: Melody, Harmony, Rhythm and augment that with the Language of Music. (details on our website: https://wsaxq.com/learn)

For Middle School and High School audiences we present programs that highlight various periods in music, including music of today, and composers from around the world. We also work with instrumental music teachers to prepare their students when possible. For band students we offer master classes and clinic demonstrations. At the college level, we have tailored our programs, to include short and long-term residencies to meet the needs of the students and teachers.


  • Full Recitals:  $3,000 (travel distance considered)
  • Master Classes/Clinics:   $800-$1,000 (see our website for educational programs)
  • Concerto Performances with Band/Orchestra/Chorus:  $1,000-$1,500

Fees are negotiable based on travel and lodging.

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