Composer and alto saxophonist Jacob Rex Zimmerman's music demonstrates a firm knowledge of the history of the alto saxophone. With influences ranging from Johnny Hodges to Anthony Braxton, one of his many concerns as a performer lies in re-contextualizing the expressive techniques of early saxophone players, while developing a few of his own. As a composer, Jacob experiments with new musical forms that blur the lines between composition and improvisation. His most recent compositions involve directing performers to experiment with the sonic possibilities of their instruments within a specific framework of fingerings or tablature. In other words, a composition might direct what the fingers will do on a certain instrument, while the resulting sounds (to varying degrees) remain at the discretion of the performers.
In May of 2008 Jacob graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston with a Bachelors in Fine Arts in Jazz Saxophone Performance. There he studied primarily with Anthony Coleman, Jerry Bergonzi, Joe Morris, John Mallia, and Allan Chase. He also rehearsed and performed in groups led by guest artists Roscoe Mitchell, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely, and Dave Holland. Previously, Jacob was a member of the award winning Garfield High School Jazz Band from Seattle, led by Clarence Acox.
Jacob currently lives in the Berkeley, CA pursuing his Masters in Composition from Mills College, where he studies with Roscoe Mitchell, James Fei, and Fred Frith among others.