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Quadraphonnes / Bio

Based in Portland, Oregon, the Quadraphonnes saxophone quartet is not your average band. These 4 women (6 with a rhythm section) bring to the stage a powerful and rare show that delights the ear with tantalizing funk grooves and soaring saxophone solos. Michelle Medler, Mieke Bruggeman, Mary-Sue Tobin, and Chelsea Luker combine original music with both new and standard arrangements for saxophone quartet (often plus bass and drums). The ensemble covers a broad spectrum of music ranging from original music to New Orleans style Jazz, to John Coltrane, to Tower of Power, to Eric Dolphy, to Astor Piazzola. In addition, the quartet’s repertoire includes Baroque and Contemporary forms.

The group continuously seeks out and creates new pieces for sax ensemble in all styles, and their performances add a unique and important dimension to the Portland music scene. Listen for yourself and hear how they seamlessly blend traditional and modern Jazz with arrangements of Rock, Pop, Funk and a splash of Classical saxophone quartet music. One night you might get up and dance at their funky New Orleans influenced show. On another night, you might witness them diving into the realm of John Cage.

Each member of this skilled ensemble holds a university degree in music, and is deeply involved in music. They are composers, arrangers, performers and educators. The Quadraphonnes are available for a variety of venues including clubs and festivals, weddings, corporate events, private parties, educational performances, clinics, recitals, recording sessions or as a horn section to compliment existing groups.

Well known locally, the Quadraphonnes have been featured on Portland radio stations KMHD 89.1fm & KBOO 91.5fm and at the following festivals:
-Portland Jazz Festival
-Waterfront Blues Festival
-Mt Hood Jazz Festival
-Portland International Film Festival
-North American Saxophone Alliance
-Portland Rose Festival
-Cathedral Park Jazz Festival
-Silverton Jazz Festival
-Washington Park Music Series
-Portland Parks and Lake Oswego Music Series’
-A Celebration of Chance and Listening: John Cage‘s 100th Birthday Celebration

Since their start in 2006-7, the Quads have toured Southern California, performed with Candye Kane, the Mambo Queens, Trio Subtonic, Miriam’s Well, The Tiptons, Felina's Arrow and Voodoo BBQ, among others. They comprise most of the sax section for The Lily Wilde Orchestra and are also a part of the NW Saxophone Collective and its large saxophone orchestra. They have headlined multiple times at Portland Jazz hotspots like Jimmy Mak’s and The Blue Monk. Their first CD, Music to Watch Girls By, was released in 2009. After receiving a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in 2010, they successfully coordinated and produced the collaborative mixed-media event Tone-Color-Melody. In 2012, the performed at Mesa Community College in San Diego, CA and continued a performance tour with stops in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, and Redlands. Including a tour of the Rico reed factory!

The Quadraphonnes often showcase other talented female guest-musicians like Susie Jones and Janice Scroggins whenever they can. They also regularly incorporate a talented rhythm section with Leah Hinchcliff on bass and Ward Griffiths on drums, and they occasionally perform as a classical ensemble with Brandy Keehn on percussion.

General Info

Band Members
Mieke Bruggeman-Smith, Michelle Medler, Chelsea Luker, Mary Sue Tobin, Leah Hinchcliff, Ward Griffiths
Artist Name
Home Page
Jazz / Classical / Funk

Contact Info

Portland, OR

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