John Kocur

John Kocur is an exciting young alto saxophonist and jazz composer Based out of Washington, D.C. He has been called a "great soloist" by the City Paper, "equally capable of romance and hard-charging groove." His original compositions are rooted in the tradition of American Jazz but seamlessly blend a variety of musical influences including rock, hip-hop, European classical, and world musics. His distinctive alto saxophone style bears the influences of Johnny Hodges, Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, and Kenny Garrett. In 2008, John was selected as an Artist-In-Residence at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center with the responsibility of performing two public shows and an educational workshop at the Mansion at Strathmore. As a sid an, John has previously performed big band jazz with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra, traditional jazz with the Capital Focus Jazz Band, Rock/R&B covers with the Too Damn Big Orchestra, progressive hip-hop with DC artist Christylez Bacon, and has even played backup for comedian/singer Joe Piscopo. John has since performed at the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival in Washington D.C., and overseas at the Jazz Ascona Festival in Switzerland and the first annual Nagano Jazz Festival in Japan. Throughout his career, he has shared the stage with jazz artists such as Benny Golson, Fred Wesley, Jimmie Owens, Bill Hughes, Freddie Redd, and Buck Hill. The John Kocur Quartet is currently performing at various venues in the greater D.C area in support of it's debut album entitled, "The Smoker." The John Kocur Quartet features some of D.C.'s finest young jazz artists. The group performs original compositions and interpretations of classic jazz standards. In 2006, John received a bachelor’s degree in music education from George Mason University, having studied with saxophonists Dale Underwood and Jim Carroll. In 2008, he received a Master of Music degree in jazz studies from Howard University after studying woodwinds with Charlie Young III and Dr. Sais Kamalidiin. As an educator, John continues to share his knowledge with students of all ages. He currently teaches private lessons and is on the music faculty at Northern Virginia Community College, plus he has given lectures and workshops at various other universities and high schools. John is currently a member of the DC Federation of Musicians Local 161-710 and the Washington Area Music Association.