Steven Banks - saxophone

Recognized for his “glowing mahogany tone” (Seen and Heard International) and “breathtaking” (Classical Voice of NC) performances, Steven Banks is establishing himself as an important young artist on the saxophone, which is rarely heard as a solo concert instrument.

Steven Banks captured First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the first saxophonist to do so in YCA’s history. This season he will make his New York debut at Merkin Concert Hall. As a jazz performer Mr. Banks has played alongside musicians affiliated with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Buddy Rich Big Band, and Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Mr. Banks also appears on a Naxos recording as baritone saxophonist of the award-winning Kenari Quartet.

Mr. Banks is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in music education, performance, and newly commissioned works in the classical realm. He spoke at the TEDxNorthwesternU 2017 conference on how to create change in institutionalized prejudices against women and people of color, and has written and given guest lectures on the history of black classical composers.

Steven Banks has a B.M. in Saxophone Performance with a minor in Jazz Studies from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and M.M. from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. His primary saxophone teachers have been Taimur Sullivan, Otis Murphy, Jr., and Galvin Crisp. He is currently Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Ithaca College.

Mr. Banks is an endorsing artist for Conn-Selmer instruments, D’Addario Woodwinds, lefreQue Sound Solutions, and Key Leaves.