“. . a saxophonist with a robust sound
and a fertile imagination. . .”
– Derk Richardson
(S.F. Bay Guardian)
Brilliant saxophonist Eric Crystal has been a stalwart of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene for many years. An immensely innovative, versatile and melodic improviser whose sophisticated sound belies his youth, Crystal has brought his strong, sensitive musical voice to a vast array of performance settings. Highly in demand as a jazz session player, he has been featured on 14 recordings.
Over the past 10 years the musical collective “FRAME”, co-founded by Crystal, has provided a setting for unlimited growth and exploration. In collaboration with Dave MacNab, Hillel Familant and Elliot Kavee (also respected members of the San Francisco ìnew jazzî movement) the groups’ unique genre bending approach to group improvisation has gained Crystal much attention, both live and as captured on their self produced recording released in 1996. His first CD as a leader, titled Dark Matter, features his original compositions and was released in 1998.
Upon his return to San Francisco from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Eric began working with the Obie and Tony Award winning San Francisco Mime Troupe where, for 8 years, he has honed the unique skills necessary for musical theater. His abilities as a multi-instrumentalist on saxophones, flute, clarinet, bass, piano, drums, percussion, guitar and banjo, and his agility to switch rapidly between any and all of the above, have made him a valuable commodity to Bay Area Theater. He has also performed with Berkeley Repertory Theater and the New Pickles’ Circus. In addition, Eric is a member of E.W. Wainwright’s “African Roots Of Jazz”, which not only performs at major jazz festivals and concerts, but also focuses on bringing their music and the history and politics of Jazz to youth and prisons across California.
Crystal has been a featured soloist in many musical aggregations at the Monterey Jazz Festival (where he first performed with the Monterey High School All Star Big Band,) as well as a myriad of other West Coast Jazz festivals. His international performances have included the Jazz Ensemble Festival in Gunma and the Isasaki City Street Festival, both in Japan.
Eric has also performed and/or recorded with jazz greats including Clark Terry, J.J. Johnson, Pete Christleib, Ernie Andrews, Ernie Watts, Steve Smith, John Handy, Eddie Marshall, Mark Levine, Mike Clark, Charlie Hunter, and Paul McCandless. With such auspicious beginnings, thereís no doubt that the world can expect much more incredible music from Eric Crystal.
For info / bookings / recordings contact:
267 A 2nd Ave
San Francisco, CA