The Kennedy Center

Chris Potter


Chris Potter, saxophonist, was raised in Columbia South Carolina. Noticed as a youth by Marian McPartland, he finished high school and then went to New York to study at the Manhattan School. While still a student, he began playing with Red Rodney’s band, the first of his many high profile gigs, and began a career that has since earned him a place as one of modern jazz’s most respected and in-demand players. He has toured and recorded with Jim Hall, Ray Brown, James Moody, Steve Swallow, Larry Carlton, Paul Motian, Steely Dan, and many others. The youngest musician ever to receive Denmark’s prestigious Jazzpar Prize, Chris Potter’s work on Joanne Brackeen’s Pink Elephant Magic also earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. Mr. Potter’s own recordings on the Concord Jazz label include Concentric Circles (1994) Unspoken (1997) and his first release as a leader: Vertigo (1998).  Recordings in 2000 have included his stellar sax work on the Steely Dan hit, Two Against Nature and with Dutch bassist Joris Teep’s release on Postcards, For Adults Chris Potter’s first album for the Verve label, Gratitude, was issued in April 2001. On November 1, 2002, Concord Jazz issued Moving In with Brad Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Billy Hart on drums. Chris Potter appeared in the Terrace Theater with the Dave Holland Quintet on March 21, 2002.

"The remarkable young saxophonist…is one of the most individual and creative voices in modern jazz.” (George Kanzler, Newark Star-Ledger)

February 2003
Photo of Chris Potter