Formed in 2012 at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the award-winning Kenari Quartet has taken pride in delivering engaging performances through creative programming and compelling stage presence. The versatility of the saxophone is integral to the quartet, which presents music from a wide range of genres that is well informed by all periods of classical music as well as jazz, soul, and other genres. The group has earned top prizes at the M-Prize Chamber Music Competition, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition, the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, Chesapeake Bay International Chamber Music Competition, and the Coleman Chamber Music Competition.
In collaboration with Naxos Records, the quartet recently completed the recording of their first album, which features the music of French composers Eugéne Bozza, Alfred Desenclos, Pierre Max Dubois, Jean Françaix, Gabriel Pierné, and Florent Schmitt. This album was released in December of 2016.
As a recipient of Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program, the Kenari Quartet was awarded a generous grant that allowed them to commission a new work from Corey Dundee, the group’s very own tenor saxophonist. This exciting project was made possible by the Andrew. W. Mellon Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.
The Kenari Quartet enjoys a busy performance and teaching schedule, having recently completed recital and master class tours throughout Texas and California. The Kenari Quartet was a featured ensemble at Chamber Music America’s 2016 National Conference Ensemble Showcase, and in 2015 the group was highlighted on the American Public Media show Performance Today by taking part in a three-day Young Artist Residency. The Kenari Quartet is represented by Jean Schreiber with Classics Alive Artists.
Hailed by Fanfare magazine for his “exceptional feel for elegance, wit… and tonal beauty,” Bob Eason is a doctoral student at Indiana University studying with Dr. Otis Murphy. Bob has appeared as a featured soloist in the Texas Music Educators Association conference as well as the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Recently Bob was a Semi-Finalist in the 5th Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition in Bangkok, Thailand, and was the 2017 Winner of the Indiana University Concerto Competition. He holds a master’s degree in saxophone performance from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in music education from The University of Houston where he studied with Mr. Dan Gelok, Mrs. Valerie Vidal, and Dr. Karen Wylie.
Kyle Baldwin is currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is teaching a small studio of students and continues performing with the Kenari Quartet. In the summer of 2016, Kyle graduated from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with a bachelor’s degree in music performance. There he studied with Dr. Otis Murphy and professor Tom Walsh. Originally from Fresno, California, he has also studied with Dr. Alan Durst at Fresno State University and Professor Larry Honda at Fresno City College. As a result of winning first prize in the Kings Symphony Young Artists Concerto Competition, Kyle performed Alexander Glazunov’s Concerto with the Kings Symphony. He is a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award Scholarship, a very honorable award given in the Jacobs School of Music, as well as the Marcel Mule Scholarship. At Indiana University, Kyle has performed as a member of the New Voices Opera, the Jacobs School of Music Saxophone Ensemble, and the Symphonic Band.
Corey Dundee is an Ann Arbor-based composer and saxophonist whose work has been described as “trippy dream music” (casual university acquaintance) and “falling down a black rabbit hole” (six-year-old concert-goer in Norfolk, CT). A recipient of Chamber Music America’s 2016 Classical Commissioning Grant, Corey was recently awarded an Artist Residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City, and in 2013 he was named Grand Prize winner of the Calefax Reed Quintet International Composition Competition. Corey has been a frequent finalist for the Morton Gould Young Composer Award presented by ASCAP, and he has received commissions from the Norfolk Contemporary Ensemble, the Taos Chamber Music Group, the UNCSAx ensemble, and saxophonist Shawna Pennock.
Steven Banks is a classical saxophonist, chamber musician, jazz and commercial saxophonist/clarinetist/bass clarinetist, music educator, advocate for diversity and inclusion in classical music, and composer. Critics have said that he plays with “pristine clarity and enviable precision but knew how to add emotional heat to his interpretation” (Herald Times, Bloomington, IN), and that his performances are “breathtaking” (Classical Voice of North Carolina). Steven serves as the Interim Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in Berea, OH. As an advocate for contemporary classical music, Steven has performed and premiered new works by student and professional composers at the Ear Taxi New Music Festival, NUNC!2 New Music Conference, and on his various recitals.