Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

At the moment I’m playing an Alpine brand Alto Saxophone with Laz Voz 2 and 1/2 reeds. In regards to my Baritone, which is a Yamaha, I’m using a hard plastic Yamaha Jazz Mouthpiece and switch between using Rico Plasticover (3) reeds and Vandoren Paris (3) reeds.

Who have you studied with?

In the past I’ve studied with Peter Sommer, Charles Emerich, Gary Johnson, and Dan Bell. Currently I’m studying with Dave Wonsey, David Porier, Jennifer Hobbs, and Joe Bouchard.
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Saxophonist Allison Dyer

Located in Salida, Colorado, USA

  • Saxophone
  • 8 years of playing
  • Doubles on drums

Teen Jazz Artist Badge

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Why did you begin studying music?

I originally began studying music in fifth grade because the school urged us to do either choir or concert band. While it took me a while to decide on an instrument (I planned on flute till the day of when I changed to trumpet which I then changed to saxophone about twenty minutes before rentals were signed) I chose to play in the band because my father’s side of the family had all been musicians in various genres since their younger years and I had grown up knowing music to be a contributor to my day to day life. I played alto for about three and a half years after joining my middle school band until the conductor asked me if I was interested in playing bari because of our severe lack of bass section at the time due to the amount of students leaving for the high school. After taking the opportunity I played bari for a few months before I began to work with a local college group and truly begin my passion for jazz.

What are you doing with music now?

At the moment I’m playing with seven different groups at my current boarding school in Connecticut. I’ve recently been voted vice president of the band and was inducted into the National Music Honors Society (Tri M) two years ago. Specifically, I’m focusing on jazz improvisation and music theory as I prepare for college auditions in order to music major at whatever university I ultimately go to. I’m also trying to form a group independent of the school to perform newer music with and test out my upcoming composition piece for senior year.

Who are some of your influences?

The groups that probably influence my playing the most are Streetlight Manifesto, The Budos Band, The Chad Makela Quartet, Crash Kings, and The Cinematic Orchestra. The individual artists that influence my playing style tend to fluctuate fairly often, but consistently I find myself looking to Gary Smulyan, Jared Tenkyll, Brad of “Brad Sucks”, Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, and Cobus Potgieter.

What would you like to do with music in the future?

In the rest of my high school career I plan on starting my own group to perform new material and collaborative projects of the band. In college I plan to music major in performance and composition coupled with a double major in psychology so that I may, beyond the university, make a living both performing as a musician as well as study the neurological effects of music on the human brain.

Would you like to add anything else?

I’m open to projects with any other musician through most mediums (i.e. live collaboration or digital work and overlay). I’m also open to talking with anyone who wants to talk music or otherwise.


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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.