Virtuoso Alto Saxophone
As a saxophonist, Javier performs regularly in New York City, playing concert, jazz, and popular music. He is the house saxophonist at St. Bartholomew’s Church, one of Manhattan’s premier classical music centers, and he has performed at a variety of clubs and halls, including Merkin Hall, the Knitting Factory, Detour, the Triad, the Remote Lounge, Donnell Library, and Siberia Bar. Javier has performed with the Euphonique Saxophone Quartet, Dead Cat Bounce, the Javier Arau New Jazz Quartet, and many other ensembles.
Active as an educator, Javier actively maintains a private saxophone and piano studio, and he enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities. Arau was the sabbatical replacement for Steven Jordheim at Lawrence University in 2003 and 2007, when he held visiting lecturer positions teaching classical and jazz saxophone, saxophone quartet, and an interdisciplinary seminar on Schenkerian theory as applied to jazz improvisation. He also formerly taught advanced jazz theory and jazz ensembles at the New England Conservatory and has served as a guest clinician/composer/conductor at school band programs in California, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. Arau has written several books on music theory and pedagogy and has served as a contributor to Jazz Educators Journal and Yankee Magazine.
Also an active author, Javier has been researching and developing ways to teach jazz harmony and to demystify the improvisational process. His most recent book, a practice manual for saxophonists, 365 Ways of Practicing Major Scales in Thirds, was published in January 2008 and is available in bookstores nation-wide. Javier is currently writing a book for early improvisers, entitled Jazz Improvisation Made Easy: a player’s guide to essential jam session standards, and he has been invited to present his latest paper, Jazz Line and Augmented Scale Theory, at the 2008 International Jazz Composers Symposium in Tampa, Florida. His Augmented Scale Theory helps bridge the gap between the chromatic tendencies of modern jazz and the diatonic roots of traditional jazz harmony, enabling the improviser to play creatively over such challenging material as Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” and Wayne Shorter classics.
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