Artistic Director - Michael Brockman
Dr. Michael Brockman (SRJO Co-founder, Artistic Director, and lead alto saxophonist) has been with SRJO since its inception. A faculty member of the UW School of Music since 1987, instructing saxophone performance and jazz composition/arranging, his dedication to the art of jazz from every direction has been an invaluable asset to the world and those dedicated to preserving this uniquely American art form. Michael studied saxophone and composition at the New England Conservatory, the Berklee College of Music, and the Musikhochschule at the University of Cologne. He has recorded with groups in Washington D.C. and Boston, and in Seattle with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO). He’s featured on the recent SSO recording of works by Shostakovich, and featured on award-winning recordings with the Clarence Acox Sextet, and many new music ensembles, choral ensembles, and chamber groups in Seattle. These include the Simple Measures chamber ensemble with soloists that include former SSO cellist Joshua Roman.
Beyond the Band
A researcher and historian, Brockman has spent many years studying and transcribing the work of many early jazz masters, and his doctoral dissertation (available through the University of Washington) is titled “Orchestration Techniques of Duke Ellington.” He is often invited to speak at libraries and schools on the early history of jazz and improvisation. Also a researcher in woodwind acoustics, Brockmans is the inventor of a patented octave key device for woodwinds named the "Broctave Key." A two-part article on his experiments in new saxophone designs appears in the Nov. 07 and Jan. 08 editions of the nationally published Saxophone Journal (he was also featured on the cover of the Sept. '99 edition, along with a lengthy feature article about him). Brockman was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame in 2020, and in 2007 was presented the Champion of the Arts Award from the City of Kirkland. He is the director of the UW's highly regarded, annual "Jazz in Paris" program. For more information, including photos and links to magazine articles and interviews featuring Michael, visit michaelbrockman.com.
Artistic Director Emeritus -
Clarence Acox (SRJO Co-founder, drummer, and former co-artistic director) was voted the 1992 Earshot Jazz "Musician of the Year." He directed the award-winning Garfield High School jazz ensemble and is among Seattle's busiest drummers.
A native of New Orleans, he graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge. Acox was honored with the Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award from ArtsFund in 2011, Seattle's 2007 Mayor's Arts Award, and he was also the recipient of the 2005 Educator of the Year award from Downbeat Magazine. His own sextet has won numerous awards for its CD recordings "Joanna's Dance" and "Indigenous Groove."