CARL BARTLETT, JR. - Saxophonist, Composer, Bandleader, Educator
Award-winning innovative artist, and native New Yorker, saxophonist Carl Bartlett, Jr. marked his arrival onto the Jazz scene with the 2011 release of his Critically Acclaimed debut CD, Hopeful. He has since emerged as one of the leading lights in the Post-bop/ Modern Jazz world, as both a player and composer. “A tone that only the greats have the ability to attain” raves All About Jazz, describing the profound sonic nature of Bartlett, Jr.’s rich alto sax sound, which uniquely blends alto and tenor sax timbres. Since achieving the high honor of becoming the 1st Place Winner in the USA (2nd in the world) in the prestigious 2015-2016 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Jazz Category, Carl Jr. embarked on his much anticipated sophomore album, PROMISE!. The CD is an immensely creative Jazz offering featuring eight of Carl's latest original, modern compositions, and his ensemble, The Carl Bartlett, Jr. Quintet, ushered in the young saxophonist's new project with a Sold Out CD Release Party in front of a lively audience at the renowned JAZZ at KITANO, in Manhattan, NYC, on December 14, 2017. The ensemble then toured Eastern USA in 2018-2019, with major concerts in NY, NJ, FL, PA, and Washington, D.C., promoting the music on PROMISE!.
As a bandleader, Bartlett, Jr. has established himself as a highly unique, and creative talent on the music scene. He currently performs with his own ensemble, The Carl Bartlett, Jr. Quartet/Quintet, headlining at many of the world's preeminent Jazz clubs, cultural venues, festivals, and music series including JAZZ at KITANO, Smalls Jazz Club, Foosaner Art Museum (Florida Institute of Technology), Alice's Jazz and Cultural Society, Sistas' Place (an Honorary NYS Landmark), The New Rochelle Jazz Festival, The Lafayette Bar Jazz Nite, Hartford Public Library Baby Grand Jazz Series, Candlelight Lounge (NJ), Queens Botanical Garden, and more, garnering Sold Out shows and exuberant audiences. Carl’s artistry is recognized by many heavyweights in the music industry, as he has toured with Jazz/Funk/Soul icons & pianists Lonnie Liston Smith, Brian Jackson, and Mark Adams, and has also performed with legendary trombonist Clifford Adams (of Kool & The Gang), the noted doo-wop group The Mighty Dells, Andy Montanez and Johnny Pacheco Salsa Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Antonio Hart, and Jimmy Heath and Roy Hargrove.
Carl was born in July 1982, into a musical family, in Queens, New York City. His father, Carl Bartlett, Sr. and uncle, Charles Bartlett, formed a noted R&B/Latin show and dance band, “The Bartlett Contemporaries”, during the 60’s, later giving young Carl an advanced tutorial on an eclectic mix of melodies, harmonies and rhythms. At 14, the multi-talented Bartlett, Jr. took on the alto saxophone, which combined with his burgeoning love for jazz provided him with enough push to heed his calling, upon listening to a Brecker Brothers album his uncle brought over one Christmas Day. Carl sites saxophonists Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Sonny Stitt, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Joshua Redman, and James Carter, as a few of his key influences, early on. At the tender age of 19, Bartlett, Jr. formed his own jazz band and proceeded to make a name for himself playing gigs throughout the New York, tri-state area. A few years later, Carl graduated from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Performance in ’04. He would then, shortly after, beginning in 2006 become the head Music Instructor of The Lutheran Band Program, teaching Concert Band in the Elementary, Middle, and High School divisions, under Martin Luther High School (Maspeth, Queens).
Indeed, Carl Bartlett, Jr. has seen an abundance of success, in what is a blossoming career, and his music has been very well received by a national and international audience. "This band is extraordinary because it taps into the philosophy of reaching diverse audiences through playing the Jazz language”, says Carl. Saxophonist Carl Bartlett, Jr. has burst onto the scene with a monumental musical statement, and has earned the distinction as one of Jazz’s standout stars.